Ecuador banana sizing loophole prompts price speculation -

Ecuador banana sizing loophole prompts price speculation

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Ecuador banana sizing loophole prompts price speculation

Ecuadorian banana growers have criticized the government for only setting export purchase prices for one size category, leaving producers that sell larger cartons at risk, website reported.

The issue arose after Agricultural Minister Santiago León set a US$5.50 price on 41.5lbs cartons under Decree 530, but failed to set a price for the common 43lbs carton weight that is sent to the markets of the European Union and Russia.

Naranjal Banana Producers Association president William Ramón, told the website many exporters refused to pay for the extra weight, calling on the government to set new rules for the larger boxes as was done in 2011.

He said in 2011 the Decree 021 set the price at US$5.69 for 43lbs cartons, adding US$0.19 to the price for 41.5lbs cartons.

Ventanas Growers Association president Franklin Torres, told the website the move was made in goodwill after his predecessor Staynley Vera stepped down, but the new decree has made matters difficult for many producers.

"The minister signed the weight change with goodwill, trying to correct the monstrous error that was committed by the previous minister in fixing it at US$5.50 per 43lbs carton, but left a door open in the decree by not detailing payments for surpluses, which hurts growers," he was quoted as saying.

Photo: El Universo

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