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Developing economies: key to the future?

Screenshot 2015-02-27 at 20

After record exports in 2014, experts are looking at where new markets can be found for banana leader Ecuador
Banana exports worldwide totalled 872.9 million boxes in the last campaign, representing 4.4% growth compared to 2012. Some 74.3% came from Latin America, where Ecuador is the undisputed leader with 259.3 million boxes, followed by Costa Rica with 106, Guatemala with 104.1, Colombia 95.5 and Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Nicaragua bringing up the rear.

The forecasts fulfilled for 2014 show greater growth in global production, which would be 6.3 %, equivalent to 927.8 million boxes, with the lion’s share going to Latin America, Asia, ACP and the European Union at similar percentages to 2013.

What is striking is the Latin American countries’ share in this growth. As in previous years, Ecuador leads the field in banana exports, but with a remarkable growth of 13.8%, representing 295 million boxes, a figure forecast to reach over 300 million for 2015.

Guatemala would be the second largest exporter in 2014 and 2015 with 114.5 and 123 million boxes respectively, with Costa Rica in third place at 107.5 and 105, a slight drop in the second year analysed.

The other producing countries hold the same positions as in previous years. So, pride of place in Latin America’s share in the banana trade goes to Ecuador with 42.9%, followed by Guatemala with an average of 17 % for both years, Costa Rica with 15 % and Colombia with 12.8%.

Read the rest of this article on page 78 of edition 135 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine.

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11th International Banana Forum set to start in Ecuador

Banano foro

Concern over EU restrictions on organic banana imports

The 11th International Banana Forum begins tomorrow in Guayaquil, Ecuador, with the theme “Towards increased competitiveness and productivity.”

The three-day event will see evaluation of the outlook for the sector next year and options for eradication of the leaf-spot disease Black Sigatoka, among other key issues.

While it’s a generally a good moment for the banana sector, Eduardo Ledesma, executive director of the Association of Banana Exporters of Ecuador (AEBE), recently told the digital channel VITOTVO he sees two major challenges.

One is Fusarium wilt (Panama disease), which has decimated thousands of hectares in Asia, Africa and Australia, and the other is the EU restrictions on marketing of organic bananas treated with mineral oil, due to health concerns.

Ledesma said a big investment is needed to develop an oil that can be registered in export markets and used for both conventional and organic crops. Such an investment is unlikely to be made by the government but would be possible for the private sector, which could recoup its costs in countries such as Colombia and Costa Rica, which use more such oils than Ecuador, he said.

The banana forum, which runs from October 14-16, is set to receive more than 3,000 domestic and foreign visitors.
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