Ecuadorian banana exports up 7%
Despite a challenging start of the season, with the effects of El Niño phenomenon looming over growers, Ecuadorian banana exports to the EU show a 22% uptick.
In April, the Association of Banana Exporters of Ecuador (AEBE) confirmed a 0.47% drop in production volume, expressing concern about the ongoing season. However, overall shipments to international markets also rose by 7% year-on-year.
From January to August this year, out of a total production of 247.9 million boxes, 30% was bound for the EU, followed by Russia with a 21% share.
Shipments to the U.S. also experienced a slight rise of 5% during the same period, making it the second largest destination for Ecuadorian bananas in 2023 to date.
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Dole remains the leading exporting brand of Ecuadorian bananas, with roughly 10% of the volume as of the end of August.
This sector has experienced three years of major complications. After the pandemic, maritime freight rates rose exponentially, putting serious pressure on exports.
Additionally, the beginning of the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine caused a cost increase for fertilizers, construction materials and other agricultural inputs.
In July, FreshFruitPortal.com spoke to Leonidas Estrada, president of the Regional Corporation of Ecuadorian Banana Growers (AGROBAN), who warned about the dire consequences El Niño could bring to Ecuador’s banana fields.
Estrada said that the sector could lose up to 128,000 acres of farmland if the weather phenomenon manifests at full capacity by the end of the year.