Ecuador’s banana exports increase despite liquidity issues
Slight dip in banana volumes
The global banana production has declined slightly due to lower temperatures in the Tropics. This has driven a general increase in prices (spot prices reached €9.45 per box in week 7). However, Europe has seen very little change in prices as yet. European banana producers in the outermost regions are concerned about a possible oversupply if import tariffs are also reduced for Brazilian and Mexican bananas, following a similar move with Peru, Colombia and Ecuador.
Successful introduction – the first climate neutral bananas for Delhaize
It is a huge success for BE CLIMATE. As of the beginning of this year, Port International delivers conventional BE CLIMATE bananas to Belgium on a weekly basis – climate neutral from the country of origin to the point of sale, of course. The first brand for climate neutral fruit and vegetables in Europe can be found as class Extra bananas at Delhaize, one of the leading Belgian retail chains. All unavoidable CO2 emissions caused during the cultivation, packing, and logistics process have been compensated in advance with the help of certified climate protection projects.
Outbreak of Fusarium Wilt disease at Colombian banana plantations
Two Colombian banana production areas have been quarantined after an outbreak of the Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race IV (TR4) disease, which threatens the world’s bananas. The news has put neighbouring countries are on high alert. The announcement comes after several weeks of speculations among the sector but silence from the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA).
Ecuador’s banana exporters look beyond EU
Despite problems with the EU market and adverse winter conditions, Ecuador recorded a 2% year-on-year increase in banana exports during the first quarter of 2019, shipping 95.3 million boxes. However, Ecuador’s banana exports to the EU dropped 15% in the first three months of the year, according to the Banana Marketing and Export Association (ACORBANEC). The fall in shipments is attributed to cheaper competitors like Guatemala.
Latin American banana exports worth $5.6 billion
Latin America and the Caribbean is the world’s largest banana-exporting region. Estimates point to a total combined export value of around US$11 billion for bananas and major tropical fruits from Latin America and the Caribbean, of which bananas accounted for about US$6 billion, according to data published by FAO. Between 2016 and 2018, the total production volume of bananas in the region was an estimated 30 million tons per year, while total exports reached an annual average of 13 million tons, representing 80% of world banana shipments, worth US$5.6 billion per year.
Germany looks to alternatives to expensive Ecuadorian bananas
Due to the high price of Ecuador’s bananas, exports to Germany have dropped by 20-25% in 2019, according to industry sources. German retailers are instead looking to buy cheaper alternatives from Central America, like Guatemala. The relatively high prices of Ecuadorian bananas are due partly to the country’s government setting a minimum sales price and partly due to the higher shipping costs from South America, from where ships must pay to cross the Panama Canal.