Every week producers, exporters and the Government meet, but not solutions are found for the banana problem. As oil, banana prices are hitting bottom in world markets.
Another appointment is scheduled for today. This time the authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture will meet with producers to discuss two options: lower to $ 0.10 or 0.55 the price of the 43 pounds box, which are analyzed margins.
So far, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. In the words of Richard Salazar, executive director of Acorbanec (Association of Production, Commercialization and Export of Bananas), the industry must sit down and talk for the common good, at a moment when Guatemala, Colombia, Costa Rica and even the French former colonies, are embarking their excesses towards the Mediterranean and Russia.
Guatemala, that has consolidated its market in the US, and started sending out samples to Russia, a country where Ecuador is the “czar,” and that after the Syrian conflict has seen how its delicate economy has been undermined.
In the European community bloc Ecuador is a spectator. Despite having won panels at the World Trade Organization by high tariffs and quotas, now the protracted signing of the trade agreement has put the country in a broadly disadvantage against Colombia and Central America, that have an FTA in force. Ecuadorian fruit this year paid a $ 2.64 per box tariff, while other countries $ 2.20. Only if the treaty is reached, this tax will drop 10 cents per box, while Colombia will only pay $ 2.07 in 2016.
Translated into English by Pierina Abad