ECUADOR – Ecuador’s banana export market witnessed a notable resurgence in 2023 with industry giants Dole and Global Village emerging as prominent players in this market’s revival.

This is according to a recent report from the Association of Ecuadorian Banana Exporters (AEBE) which revealed that 316.35 million boxes of bananas were shipped globally, marking an encouraging turnaround for the industry.

Within this scenario, Ecuador’s Dole and Global Village among other top ten banana brands contributed significantly, dispatching 118.16 million boxes overseas, constituting 37.35% of the country’s banana production.

This upturn comes after a two-year struggle attributed to the pandemic’s impact, where the sector faced a cumulative 14% decline in shipments.

However, signs of recovery emerged in 2023, with a 6% rise in exports compared to the previous year, albeit remaining below pre-pandemic levels.

Europe, particularly the European Union (EU) and Russia, maintained their status as the primary export destinations, constituting 29% and 21% of total shipments, respectively.

The EU received 91.86 million boxes, reflecting an 18% surge from 2022. Conversely, Russian imports slightly decreased by 4% to 67.28 million boxes in 2023.

The United States demonstrated a modest uptick, importing 28.44 million boxes, claiming a 9% share of shipments.

Africa and Asia also displayed increased interest, with 17.64 million and 6% of total shipments to Africa and a similar share to Asia.

Banana Time showcases Ecuador’s banana sector

The upbeat momentum in banana exports was celebrated at the 20th international Banana Time convention held in Guayaquil.

Attended by key political figures, industry experts, and exporters, the event aimed to spotlight Ecuador’s banana industry growth while addressing pertinent challenges.

Marianela Ubilla, President of AEBE, emphasized the convention’s pivotal role in fostering economic integration among participating nations.

However, she cautioned about looming challenges such as inflation affecting international market dynamics and various sector-specific hurdles like security, climate change, and trade agreement complexities.

The convention featured a diverse agenda encompassing commercial exhibitions, roundtable discussions, and forums focusing on sustainability, phytosanitary protection, labor relations, and the future outlook for the sector.

Notably, discussions centered on mitigating the impact of El Niño, reducing the carbon footprint, and exploring innovative uses of bananas in Ecuadorian cuisine.

As Ecuador’s banana industry embarks on a positive trajectory, challenges persist, urging stakeholders to strategize for sustainable growth amidst evolving global landscapes and internal constraints.

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