Ecuador: banana contracts for 2024 only reach 54%


The year 2024 did not start on the right foot for the banana sector. It is the second half of January, and producers and exporters still need to comply with the registration of the fruit export contract this year as stipulated by the Banana Law. They are far from reaching 100% of the hectares registered with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (M.A.G.). The head of this Ministry, Danilo Palacios, reveals the current situation and how to face this problem caused by the spot price and the new dynamics of the world market that has marked the sector in the last three years.

Based on the number of hectares we have registered with M.A.G., the signatures we have received represent 58% of the registered hectares. From the beginning, we have been inviting producers to approach the signatures. We are in the season of higher demand due to the cold weather, but the summer season is coming, from June, July and August, when fewer bananas are consumed. We do not want that in that stage, the people who today are in doubt because of the issue of spot prices; tomorrow, we wish to come to the ministry to ask for help to respect the minimum support price when there is no contract in between.

It sets contract prices based on minimum production. In Ecuador, to estimate the official price, we reference 2,000 boxes per hectare, while other countries such as Colombia have a production of 2,500 boxes per hectare, Costa Rica is at 2,850 boxes per hectare, and Guatemala is above 3,500. So, from there, when we want to set a price taking the lowest production, logically, we are not competitive and suddenly, by trying to protect some volume of boxes that is not efficient, we lose the space for our country; that is what has been happening in recent years.