Tag Archives: Banana industry

Ecuadorian Banana Industry Poised To Double China Exports as FTA Nears Ratification

Reversing the decline observed during the COVID-19 years.

The free trade agreement between China and Ecuador, signed in May of last year with the aim of eliminating import tariffs for Ecuadorian fruit, particularly bananas, is still awaiting national approval in Ecuador. Following a political crisis that stalled the ratification of the agreement, the Constitutional Court eventually validated the document, and it is now being debated in the National Assembly. Disagreement among the assembly members resulted in a temporary suspension of the debate on Jan. 11, and the process has not yet been resumed as of the time of writing.

Meanwhile, the Ecuadorian banana industry remains optimistic about the approval of the FTA and is placing its expectations on the deadline of June 2024 set for ratification of the agreement.

Jose Antonio Hidalgo, executive director of the Ecuadorian Banana Exporters Association, has claimed that the agreement will enable the sector to double its shipments to China and reverse the decline observed during the COVID-19 years. According to Hidalgo, Ecuador exported $156.62 million worth of bananas to China in 2020, a 29% decrease from 2019. He added that the industry had been unable to grow its presence in the Chinese market owing to the high tariffs that remain in place.

At the same time, Ecuadorian banana exports to China appear to be picking up. Statistics released by Ecuador’s Banana Marketing and Export Association for the first 11 months of last year show an increase in shipments to the Chinese market. The reported growth in export volume stands at a remarkable 45% compared with the same period of 2022. From January to November 2023, China received nearly 256,510 metric tons of Ecuadorian bananas, making it Ecuador’s largest market in East Asia, followed by Japan with 87,247 metric tons. In total, Ecuador exported 5.9 million metric tons of bananas over the data period.

China traditionally relies on the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia as its major banana suppliers. One of the main advantages of all three is their geographical proximity to China, which results in a relatively short transit time. In terms of production, however, these countries have recently encountered a number of difficulties. The Philippines is struggling to deal with outbreaks of the fungal disease Fusarium wilt, which have severely impacted yields and exports. Meanwhile, Cambodia is suffering from the effects of climate change, including water shortages at banana plantations and pest problems. Vietnam’s banana exports to China were on the rise in 2023, but in July the sector received a warning from Chinese regulators for failing to comply with phytosanitary standards, which it had to address.

Source: ProduceReport.com

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Two more banana container ships for Chiquita

The 2700TEU capacity ships operated by Great White Fleet division have been put into service for banana exports from Central America into the USA.

Photo by Sophie Dale on Unsplash

Chiquita has added two more container ships to its in-house fleet, operated by its Great White Fleet division. The 2700TEU capacity ‘Chiquita Voyager’ and ‘Chiquita Explorer’ have been put into service for #banana exports from Central America into the USA.

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6.5 tonnes of cocaine found between bananas

EUR 223 million value intercepted during three operations in Spain and Colombia
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6.5 tonnes of cocaine hidden in containerised banana shipments moving from South America to Spain have been seized as part of an international operation that dismantled a major Spanish criminal network involved in a range of illicit activities.

The criminal gang smuggled cocaine from Colombia to Spain using the port of Algeciras as its import hub in a “wholesale type of business structure,” said Europol. In an operation spanning several months, Colombian authorities intercepted two shipments totalling 4.25 tonnes of cocaine at the port of Cartagena. Spanish authorities then seized a third shipment of 2.3 tonnes while en route from the port of Algeciras to a nearby warehouse.

The criminal organisation was well-organised and well-informed, latterly diverting its drug smuggling activities to banana shipments direct from Ecuador to avoid further interceptions in Colombia.

Source: Europol

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New Cavendish banana variety with complete TR4 Panama disease resistance due in 2024

Israel based company Rahan Meristem, with the aid of their Colombian partner Luis Alberto Restrepo, President of Banarica Colombia, have developed Cavendish banana plants with complete resistance to Panama disease TR4

New TR4-resistant banana will be available commercially in early 2024. This follows years of scientific work and trials in Israel, the Netherlands and field trials in banana plantations in the Philippines.

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Fyffes opens new banana ripening facility

New €25 ripening facility in Dublin to have output of 7 million bananas per week

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Fyffe’s new ripening facility in Dublin will output over 7 million bananas per week when operating at full capacity.

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LatAm banana industry meets Rainforest Alliance

Challenging economic scenario for the LatAm banana industry
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Latin American banana producers and exporters have met the Rainforest Alliance CEO. The region’s banana industry faces challenging economic conditions. Led by Ecuador, these countries account for 65% of global banana production and are the largest global exporters.

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Bananas in pyjamas

Swiss Scientists develop ecological nanofiber film coating for bananas
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Could a new ecological nanofiber film coating for bananas avoid plastic packaging and ensure longer shelf life? Swiss Scientists have developed the coating and the new technology will be used in all Lidl Switzerland stores.

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Banana industry at inflection point

Could 2022 be a moment of reckoning for the banana industry?
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The banana industry ‘is at an inflection point’ and 2022 could be a ‘moment of reckoning’.  Key problems include price pressures and changes to pesticide requirements. The FreshPlaza team interviewed Hugo Castro of Ecuadorian supplier Gina Fruit. 

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