NOVA MEDIA PUBLISHING INC.

Mexican Banana Growers Restart Dialogues to Export to China

18.1.2019

The National Council of Producers of Plátano has informed that it will seek to finalize the signing of the sanitary protocol to export bananas to China through the federal government, after the last administration did not materialize.

The president of the organization, Adrián Prats Leal, said that the banana workers from Tabasco, Chiapas and those concentrated in the North Pacific, such as Michoacán, Colima and Jalisco had worked on the technical requirements for two and a half years to achieve the protocol.

In an interview with the media, he said that the National Health Service, Food Safety and Quality (Senasica) and its counterpart in China had everything ready for the signing last November "but two days before the deadline the Mexican representatives did not show up," he said.

This meant that the Mexican bananas could not obtain the permits to export to that Asian nation subsequently the intervention of the governor, Adán Augusto López Hernández, was sought to re-establish the contacts with the new federal government.

Thus, he said that banana exporters plan to meet with the new head of the Secretariats of Agriculture and Rural Development, Víctor Villalobos, and with the Economy Minister, Graciela Márquez Colín and the Foreign Affairs Minister, Marcelo Ebrard.

He said that they will not start from scratch because the technical conditions are already in place but there is a lack of political will to finalize the signing protocol.

He mentioned that the loss of that opportunity has prevented Mexican banana companies from exporting between 250,000 and 300,000 boxes of the fruit per week to China.

He commented that the term of entry which come into force from 2020 under the Free Trade Agreement with Europe would allow for similar export conditions to Mexican bananas that currently compete at a disadvantage with other producing countries.

Prats Leal estimated that the export volume of Mexican bananas averages 25 million boxes per year among all producing states to the United States and Europe, of which Tabasco contributes around five million boxes.

As to the goal for 2019, he indicated that production is expected to grow between 15 and 20% although it will also depend on whether there are opportunities for greater exports such as opening the market to China.

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