The statistics of the Central Bank of Ecuador are not irrelevant statistics, on the contrary, they are sending key signals for decision-making in a decisive sector in dollarization.
The trade balance report to October 2018 clearly shows which countries are buying us the most non-oil products and there it appears in second place Vietnam and in third China, which last year was in eighth place. And it also shows the fall in several of the main partners of the European Union (EU). From 36 countries, only with 13 Ecuador has a positive general trade balance (oil and non-oil), which forces us to work to break down barriers in those markets.
If the data are analyzed by product, a healthy shrimp activity is noted, something that does not happen with bananas, whose exportable production has stagnated (barely grew 0.9% as of October this year).
In thread that follow the shipments to the outside of products lets see other sectors that need support and others that have better prices, but lower productivity.
Overall, both the non-traditional and non-traditional non-oil sector are stagnating, according to foreign trade figures as of the tenth month of the year, but what is worrying is that this stagnation has a greater impact on production volume, which implies a lethargy in productivity.
Vietnam, a good partner
The Russian market should be a goal. Ecuadorian bananas being the star product, Ecuador can gain space for other goods. With Russia we have the best non-oil balance, with a balance in favor of $ 602.3 million.
In the European community market are also the best partners of Ecuador with balances in favor with Italy, Holland, France, Spain, United Kingdom, as well as with Central America.
And while looking for an agreement with the United States with which we have a non-oil balance of -278.8 million dollars, there are countries with a clear tendency to maintain abysmal differences that are not yet sought to correct. Two of them are Brazil and Mexico.
The first of them maintains a constant restriction to the two emblematic products of Ecuador, the banana and the shrimp, to which the door was not opened, despite the fact that the Ecuadorian authorities (Proecuador) announced it as a fact. Brazil has maintained its restriction and Ecuador has not decided to impose reprisals that force it to negotiate.
The non-oil trade balance with China is negative for Ecuador ($ -2,028 million). Our country imported from that nation 2,799 million to October.
The Andean Community member maintains a balance in his favor of $ 776.3 million. Ecuador does not have a relevant offer to grow, unless it is rice.
The Brazilian government has been elusive to allow the entry of Ecuadorian products, hence the deficit for Ecuador is $ 666.2 million.
Banana, the big disappointment
Traditional and non-traditional products do not find the route to a relevant growth, as the Central Bank statistics note. In volume, these sectors grew just 1.4% on average and 5.1% in securities, which is not sustainable over time due to the volatility of commodity prices. The banana, which was the most important product of Ecuador for many decades, in the first ten months of the year it grew by just 0.9%, to almost 5.6 million tons and 3.1% in prices.
The shrimp, on the other hand, maintains the same dynamic, based on a strategy of constant transformation in the commercial and technical part (research and development) from the private sector: the National Chamber of Aquaculture; while on the banana side nothing is achieved in the background. The reforms that are sought to the Banana Law and the application of a sustainability program (with the University of California) are supported only by one of the guilds: the Export and Marketing Association (Acorbanec).
Natural flowers have even lower growth than banana, in volume 0.8%, but prices did not help: they fell 3.2%.
Extracts and vegetable oils (mainly palm), the ninth most important product among non-oil producers, fell 0.4% in tons and 8.9% in prices.
The third traditional non-oil export product fell by 3.1% in ton, although there is an improvement in values, 6.6%, due to the price increase. (I)