Peru is expecting 30% growth in its organic bananas exports this year, according to William Daga of state entity Sierra and Selva Exportadora.
The country exported 203,000 metric tons (MT) last year, so the projected increase would bring volumes to around 260,000MT.
Daga told Fresh Fruit Portal he is expecting industry returns of around US$170 million.
"In the first quarter we already reached US$60 million exports," he said.
The expectation would mark a continuation of the growth seen up until 2016, prior to the El Niño phenomenon that hit Peru last year and impacted production.
Daga said Peru produces bananas year-round, with the peak volumes shipped through July and then decreasing later in the year as water availability declines.
The profits "are generally US$29 million [per month from January through July] and from there we decrease to US$12 - 13 million monthly, in September, October and November".
Peru has seen significant growth in the banana industry in the last 10 years.
"In 2008 we exported around US$45 million to 18 or 19 countries. Now we are entering a little more than 40 countries with almost 35% to the Netherlands and 28% to the U.S., Germany, Belgium, Finland, South Korea, and Japan".
While the Netherlands remains the leading market, Peru's presence has been growing in Asia, including in a country not usually mentioned in the fruit export business.
"In 2017 we started exporting to North Korea, we’ve had a very good reception," said Daga.
"Between January and August of last year we’ve entered Canada, Ireland, Korea, Portugal, those are the new markets that we started to enter with force in 2017".
For the coming years, Peru expects an average increase in planted hectares of 4 - 5%.