Updated: Ecuadorian banana prices sink following heavy downpours

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Updated: Ecuadorian banana prices sink following heavy downpours

Ecuadorian export banana prices dropped from US$12.50 to US$9.50 a box last week in the wake of torrential rain and over production, claim industry players.

Exporter and producer Alisa-Sunrise's sales executive Javiera Ravello, said too much water inevitably led to problems.

"If there is too much water in the plantations the fruit itself absorbs it which reduces quality because it fails to meet the required 39-40 grade."

She said her company conducted stringent quality checks to ensure the inside of the banana was firm without soft grain problems.

Exporter and grower Expoglobal's sales manager Matthieu Mandon, admitted too much rain was an issue.

"Bananas need rain and sun to grow but not too much, too much humidity and the bananas are at risk."

Although, he said Expoglobal had good drainage channels on its plantations and  fruit was picked at 10 weeks not 12, which meant they were less susceptible to soft grain issues.

Mandon added that some of the company's key clients such as Del Monte had bought lower volumes recently. Expoglobal exports 40% of the 80,000 boxes it produces a week and sells 50% to major brands like Del Monte.

Both exporters said they were optimistic that this week prices would bounce back claiming the two-day Mardi Gras holidays last week had shortened harvest times.

Editor's Note

In the story published yesterday, Feb.27,  we incorrectly said the price of a box had dropped to US$2.00 when it should have read US$9.50.

Related stories: 2,000 hectares of bananas under water in Ecuador

Photo: Fitnesstore.com


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