Ecuador’s banana exports show massive slump
Ecuador’s banana exports for the first five months this year have shown a year-on-year drop of 12% with weekly exports on average 709,579 boxes lower, according to Association of Ecuadorian Banana Exporters (AEBE) figures.
The total number of 18.14 kilogram boxes exported for this period was 116,220,637, compared with 131,831,364 in 2011.
Ecuador Banana Industry Association (Asisbane) director Cecilio Jalil, told Elcomercio.com that the low figures were due to Ecuador’s severe winter which affected productivity and the economic crisis in Europe.
He added the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries (MAGAP) had prevented exports of fruit without a contract. Producers claim that exporters are continuing to operate on spot prices of US$2 a box when the official state price is US$5.50.
Chamber of Agriculture Zone II president Evaristo Baque, believes the contract-driven system is inhibiting export levels.
“In Ecuador there are many legal restrictions that prevent immediate adjustment,” he was quoted as saying.
His organization proposed the government allow 75% of fruit to be exported under a contract and the remaining 25% at spot market price, he pointed out that under the Banana Act only fruit under contract is allowed to be exported
However, AEBE president Eduardo Ledesma, said that legalization of the banana business was the only way to regulate the industry.
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