Low prices plague Ecuador's dragon fruit season
Dragon Fruit Growers and Marketers Association president Alejandro Roldán told Fresh Fruit Portal that ongoing economic troubles in the Andean country along with high levels of production had resulted in a weak market.
The supply levels had also resulted in low prices in export markets, he said.
According to the representative, prices on the local market had been in the range of US$0.80-1.20 per kilogram while export prices had hovered around US$2.50.
The ongoing economic crisis in Ecuador had resulted in lower consumer purchasing power in general, he said.
"This is at a general level, not just perishables. This situation is the result of various factors, such as the price of petroleum.
"As farmers, we consider this economic blow to be the strongest in the last five years."
Much of the fruit is exported to the Asian market, and Roldán also expected to gain access to the U.S. market this year.
He said the industry had been expecting to gain access last year, but the process had been delayed with the new U.S. Administration.
"It's a very attractive market, but it's being very time-consuming, since we are going to arrive in a very big market that isn't familiar with the fruit," he said.
Promotional campaigns would need to be carried out in the country, but Roldán said it was challenging to generate interest due to the relatively high price of the exotic fruit.