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Russia Increases Banana Imports From Latin America, But Purchases Overall Decrease

19 November 2015

Despite a 7 percent increase in banana imports from Ecuador and a 9 percent increase in supplies from Guatemala from January to August, the Russian market decreased its overall banana purchases by 5 percent.

Significant changes in foreign trade of bananas occurred this year in a majority of Latin American countries. Where Ecuador and Guatemala experienced increased exports, the export volumes of Columbia and Costa Rica decreased.

By the end of the summer, the volume of Ecuadorian exports grew by 7 percent compared to the volume of the previous year, reaching 4.1 million tonnes. According to Ecuador's Central Bank, export revenues increased by 12 percent and reached US $1.86 billion. This increase was partially stimulated by an increase in the Free On Board of up to $0.43-0.45 per kilogram.

The US and Germany increased purchases from Ecuador by 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Ecuador has also expanded trade with Turkey and China by 34 percent and 39 percent, respectively. These increases in trade make Turkey and China the fourth and fifth most important markets for Ecuador.

The second position among large exporters of bananas is Guatemala. This year, as reported by the Bank of Guatemala, the country's exports grew by 9 percent and by the end of August they amounted to 1.5 million tonnes.

Almost 91 percent of Guatemalan bananas are sent to the US market. Honduras and Salvador are the next largest market destinations for Guatemalan banana exports. Exports to the European Union and to countries in Asia slightly decreased.

The cost of Guatemalan exports January – August grew by 14 percent (in comparison to January to August of 2014) and reached US $409 million due to higher than average prices for Free On Board by 5 percent up to $0.43 per kilogram.

In 2015, Colombian and Costa Rican banana exports decreased by 6 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

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