Ecuadorian bananas: Total exports rise but EU, U.S. take smaller share

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Ecuadorian bananas: Total exports rise but EU, U.S. take smaller share

The Ecuadorian banana industry registered a slight uptick in exports from July this year, but it represented a smaller slice of some key markets over that time. 

Exports over the seven months from January rose by 2.3%. But while until recently the majority was shipped to the U.S. and European markets, this year only around 40% has been sent to those two destinations.

Richard Salazar, executive director of industry body Acorbanec, told Ecuador losing market share to Guatemala in the U.S and to Costa Rica, Colombia and Guatemala in Europe.

He explained that in the case of Europe, Guatemala this year has been selling its fruit at lower prices that have led to it displace Ecuador in various countries, such as Germany, Belgium and Italy.

"Guatemala has grown its exports to Europe this year by around 95%," Salazar said. "It has an increasingly important role in Europe, and that's one of the reasons why Ecuador is exporting 12% fewer bananas to the region."

The Central American country shipped 50,000MT of bananas to Europe in 2018, while in the first seven months of 2019 alone it had sent almost 110,000MT.

Ecuador has also been losing market share in the U.S., while at the same time Argentina has been buying less fruit due to its ongoing economic crisis.

However, the situation in Asia is positive.

China and Japan have been buying "much more fruit from Ecuador", he said, attributing the rising demand in China to lower domestic production there and insufficient supplies from the Philippines.

"Year-on-year, they have bought 123% more," he said.


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