Ecuador bananas can sell for US$5.69 per carton after objections from growers
A carton of Ecuadorian bananas can now sell for US$0.19 more than the government's set price, after growers complained that cartons were larger than originally calculated, according to local news website El Universo.
The original price of US$5.50, still technically in effect, applied to cartons weighing 40 pounds. But half of all exporters were using cartons weighing 43 pounds while paying for only 40. The new price reflects the heavier containers, the website said.
“After a study, [the agriculture ministry] decided to set at US $5.50 the official price for the carton of 41.5 pounds, and if exporters want to continue sending cargo of 43 pounds they have to pay a differential of $0.19,” Richard Salazar, director of the agricultural ministry’s banana section, is quoted as saying.
An interbank system will monitor payments to make sure growers receive the correct payments from exporters, the website said. Customs officials will monitor the ports.
At least one grower, Pompilio Espinoza, said that the higher fixed price does not cover the cost of production.