NOVA MEDIA PUBLISHING INC.

Ecuadorian Banana Growers Could Ask for an Increase in the Price of Fruit

4.1.2019

That the exporters comply with the official price of the banana box for 2019, which is US$ 6.30, is what banana producers request, assured Segundo Solano, president of the Banana Association of El Oro (ABO).

The price was set by the Minister of Agriculture, Xavier Lazo, after there was no agreement on the Banana Trading Table between producers and exporters, last October 12th.

The export sector requested to maintain the US$ 6.20 so that the Ecuadorian banana does not lose competitiveness abroad. Mean-while, the producers proposed US$ 7.05 due to the high production costs.

After failing to reach an agreement, the Secretary of State, signed ministerial agreement 135 and established an increase of 10 cents compared to the price of 2018.

However, the banana sector of El Oro assured Solano, did take into account that the Government would raise the price of diesel and of the unified basic salary, which will affect the situation and profitability of the banana sector.

"We asked him to fix it at US$ 6.50 to cover production expenses, but the only thing we can now demand from the National Government and the Ministry of Agriculture is that they oblige exporters to pay the official price of the banana box."

He mentioned that the disrespect to the official price of the musaceae occurs every year, therefore, together with the regulatory bodies, they will monitor that the exporters comply with the established price and avoid sanctions. However, the producer did not mention that neither did the government intervene when the price of the banana box for the fruit only reached levels of US$15, 16 and up to 18 at some points in 2018 due to a shortage of fruit in all the banana producing countries of Central and South America.

The union leader said that they plan to meet with the banana producers of El Oro to formalize the new price and propose to the National Government, incentives that allow the sustainability of the activity in the province.

They will request a decrease in the price of the inputs and machinery used in the production chain, lower taxes and facilities to access credit.

Eduardo Ledesma, director of the Association of Banana Exporters of Ecuador (AEBE), said that the price must be maintained so the Ecuadorian product can maintain international competitiveness.

Between January and August of 2018 Ecuador exported US$ 2,129 million and among its main markets are the European Union and Russia, according to the press of the Andean country.

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