Ecuador to provide banana assistance loans

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Ecuador to provide banana assistance loans

Ecuador's National Finance Corporation (CFN) will deliver emergency lines of credit to banana growers affected by low international prices, website reported.

CFN president Camilo Samán said amounts would range from US$100,000 to US$2 million per transaction, for a period of 120 days with an annual interest rate of 8.5%, the story reported.

The credit is a response to calls from growers for the declaration of an 'economic-commercial' emergency, following price falls of up to 50% and an oversupply of fruit.

"The line of credit should not be measured by the amount, but by how quickly and timely it goes out in the moment when it needs to, which is the role of the public bank," Samán was quoted as saying.

Ecuador Banana Industry Association (Asisbane) executive director Cecilio Jalil, told the website the loans would help liquidity in the industry and the biggest beneficiaries would be smal growers.

"Prices have fallen in international markets from economic problems, the temperature which is already high in the Northern Hemisphere. With those temperatures they prefer juicy fruits, not bananas," Jalil was quoted as saying.

Despite the potential of improved liquidity, banana exporters are still faced with low prices and are planning to export less fruit to improve returns, website reported.

Ecuador Association of Banana Exporters (AEBE) director Eduardo Ledesma said the country could only place three million cartons out of the 4.2 million cartons it exports weekly, the story reported.

Ledesma told the website if current export volumes were maintained then the CFN loans would be of little use.

Ecuador's main banana exporters are Ubesa, Bananera Continental and Pacific Crown Fruit.

Photo: Think Progress

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