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Ecuadorian bananas piled up without buyers, prices plummeted

Ecuador is an exporting country banana largest in the world, of which 20% of the country’s banana exports go to Russia and Ukraine. The tense situation in Ukraine has slowed down banana exports to the two major markets, making the South American country’s banana growers and exporters worried.

Selling bananas to the Russian market helps Ecuador earn 698 million USD/year. Ecuador also typically exports nearly 2 million cases of bananas a week to Russia’s Eastern European neighbors.

However, sanctions in the Western shipping sector imposed on Russia have prevented it from continuing to buy bananas from Ecuador.

Ecuadorian bananas piled up without buyers, the price dropped sharply - Photo 1.

Ecuador is the world’s largest banana exporter. (Artwork – Photo: FreshPlaza)

“One out of every five bananas produced in Ecuador is exported to Ukraine and Russia, but now we cannot export any to these key markets,” said Franklin Torres, president of the association. banana growers in Ecuador, said.

At Thalia Plantation, banana boxes are piling up and slowly rotting because there are no buyers.

“For the past 3 weeks, I have not exported a single box of bananas. Meanwhile, I used to fill 3 containers with 3,000 boxes of bananas from my 28-hectare plantation. Now, there are about 7,000 banana boxes of the plantation. The fields are piling up with no buyers,” said Mireya Carrera, owner of Thalia banana plantation.

The banana industry directly creates 50,000 jobs and indirectly creates 250,000 jobs in Ecuador.

According to the Banana Export and Trade Association, the tense situation in Ukraine has caused about 6,000 long-term contract workers to lose their jobs.

“Every year we have problems because of low prices, but now we can’t get contracts to buy bananas. Our workers have to be temporarily laid off,” said Mireya Carrera, Thalia Banana Plantation Owner. , said.

Faced with the prospect of a glut causing the domestic price of bananas to plummet, the banana association decided to donate bananas to local charity food programs.

Ecuador expands banana export market

Ecuador’s government and exporters have sought to expand export markets. They are looking to boost banana exports to the Asian market, especially China, Japan and South Korea or the potential Middle East market.

Ecuador is the world’s largest banana exporter. On average, this country exports about 4,000 tons of bananas each year, bringing in $3.5 billion in revenue.

Ecuadorian bananas piled up without buyers, the price dropped sharply - Photo 2.

Bananas are cleaned and sorted for export at a facility in Machala, Ecuador. (Photo: Alamy)

According to the association of banana exporters of this South American country, in the past 3 weeks alone, the banana growing and exporting industry has lost more than 10 million USD.

“Currently, the amount of money we earn from selling bananas is not enough to cover the production costs. In this situation we will have to reduce the area under banana cultivation,” said Mr. Franklin Torres, President of the Growers Association. bananas in Ecuador, said.

Before the bananas piled up and could not be sold at many plantations, the President of Ecuador personally directed the ministries and sectors to work together to find an outlet for this item.

Specifically, the Ministry of Commerce immediately promoted the promotion of banana exports to the Asian market by signing agreements with Japan, Korea and China. In particular, the most populous market in the world China is considered to have great potential, with the second largest consumption in the world. Along with that, the country imports about 60% of the bananas consumed in the country.

Besides, this South American country also promotes banana exports to the US and European Union markets.

Another potential market Ecuador is targeting is the Middle East. In particular, Turkey recorded an impressive growth when banana imports increased by more than 50%.

To date, Ecuadorian bananas have been exported to more than 60 countries around the world, accounting for over 22% of the global banana export value.

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