Guatemala: Increased Banana Exports


The export of bananas from Guatemala experienced exponential growth last year.

For this year the producing and marketing companies bet on new markets, as well as more investments, for the high profitability, after the experience of last year, according to representatives of the sector.

Julio Mérida, executive director of the Association of Independent Banana Producers (Apib), affirmed that the sector registered high productivity. "The international demand and the situation of the behaviour of other raw materials were a success of the sector," he said. 90% of what Guatemala produces goes to the United States, but new niches are being explored such as Russia, South Korea, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The production and export of banana experienced exponential growth last year, which reached sales abroad of US$ 815 million, placing it second in the list of products and first in the agricultural sector.

Mario Yarzebski, international marketing manager of the Palo Blanco firm, informed that several Guatemalan and one Ecuadorian capital companies are processing and providing added value for the industrial jump.

Yarzebski explained that the results obtained last year are based on two aspects.

The first is that part of the soil that was occupied by sugarcane changed to banana and African palm. The other is that the sowing of the fruit is very versatile, which achieved more production in the market.

This phenomenon, he said, was marked in the South Coast, where small and medium producers of the fruit were also added.

Yarzebski said that plantain and banana producers market the product with the major firms to the United States, but markets are arising in Europe.

Daniel Ambrosio, a producer from Tiquisate, Escuintla indicated that some companies that operated in Honduras moved to Guatemala and increased the area of cultivation.

The producer said that the price of the banana box (42 pounds) they received was between US$ 5 and US$ 7.

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