Colombia’s rain is Ecuador’s gain in banana shipments
Heavy rain is interrupting banana production in Colombia, and Ecuador is filling in the gap, according to news reports from both countries.
Initial reports from the banana-growing area of Urabá in the northwest say that the damage is widespread, but exact figures are not available, according to Caracol Radio of Colombia.
Shipments of the fruit have been suspended because of overflowing rivers, and workers have been idled because of flooding, Roberto Hoyos, president of the Colombia Banana Producers Association is quoted as saying.
Colombia’s troubles have lead to higher prices for bananas from Ecuador, according to local news service andes.info.ec.
Boxes are selling for between US $13.40 and US $16.40, much more than the official price of US $5.40, according to Richard Salazar, director of the banana unit of the agricultural ministry. Colombia and Costa Rica have not been able to meet demand, the website said.
Speculation is also affecting prices, because of all the fruit that is being marketed, 70% is purchased on the spot without a contract, the report said.
“People who are currently paying between $10 and $11 pay $2 a box in a low period,” Salazar was quoted as saying.
Purchases without contracts will end when a law ending the practice that was passed last month goes into effect.
Photo: Caracol Radio