Ecuador exported USD 4 638 million in 2018 in industrialized products, which meant an increase of 7% in relation to 2017, according to data from the Central Bank. The countries of South America, Central America and the European Union were the main destinations for these products, which accounted for 22% of total Ecuadorian sales.
According to the president of the Ecuadorian Federation of Exporters, Daniel Legarda, Latin America is the main destination for this category and the increase in sales is due to the greater demand in this region.
This happened due to the economic growth of countries such as Colombia, Chile, Peru and the Central Americans. The textile was one of the sectors that improved their shipments last year. The president of the Association of Textile Industrialists of Ecuador, Javier Díaz, says that they sold USD 105 million.
22% corresponded to clothing and the rest to raw materials and textile products such as yarns, fabrics. They were USD 10 million more than in 2017. “It is a very good result because we had been falling for a few years and finally recovered the rhythm. It is important because they are high value-added goods, “says Díaz.
According to him, the growth is due to the commercial management of the companies that improved their presence in the United States, despite the tariffs that must be paid to enter that country.
They go from 5% to 50%. There were also positive results in Colombia, Brazil, Spain, Chile and Argentina. Expectations for 2019, says Díaz, are to maintain the rise because there is a good projection in the US.
In addition, they foresee doing business missions in Colombia and propping up in Central America, and even in Mexico. The shipments of tires also grew. Continental Tire Andina, which is the only producer in Ecuador, sold 2% more abroad than in 2017.
The destinations were Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, the United States and Canada. North America represents 34% of its total exports. For the executive president of this firm, Jorge Almeida, future growth is based on an increase in export volume.
Their efforts are aimed at obtaining more penetration in the region. “We work to increase exports to Colombia and Chile, which are two of the largest markets in the region and where we believe we can get more volume.”
Colineal furniture firm has positive expectations for this year. Last year they exported USD 4.5 million in furniture, which represented 12% more compared to 2017. According to its president, Roberto Maldonado, by 2019 they plan to double sales in Lima due to the opening of their third mega-store, which has 2,500 m².
Another strategy is to furnish hotels and buildings in Peru and Panama. In 2018, Colineal executives signed contracts with hotel owners in Lima and buildings in Panama. This year the products will be delivered.
The contracts add USD 2.5 million. Maldonado is optimistic, despite “the high production costs and the lack of flexibility to hire more labor when needed.” Its intention is to consolidate the presence of the brand in Lima.
This year it will invest USD 1.5 million in the construction of a warehouse in the Peruvian capital to have more inventory and improve deliveries. In the case of motor vehicles, Ecuador sold 1 510 units abroad last year. In 2017 there were only 650.
According to the executive director of the Chamber of the Ecuadorian Automotive Industry (Cinae), David Molina, although there is growth, does not represent a significant amount against the potential of the national industry. He says that what happened in previous years should be analyzed.
In 2011 and 2012 more than 20,000 cars were sold per year, then there were constant drops due to the closure of the Venezuelan market and the lower demand of the Colombian market. “With the current levels we can say that the shipments are picking up, but we are still far from the best times.”
Canned tuna was the most relevant processed product for the tuna sector in 2018, with a growth of 13.1%. USD 837.4 million were sent. The president of the Ecuadorian Chamber of Tuna Industrialists and Processors, Gustavo Núñez, assures that they make efforts to maintain exports. “In 2018 they recovered somewhat, because the prices of the raw material improved.” Another winning sector was that of processed cocoa. The exporters attribute it to the generation of new industries in the last year. (I)