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Europe is the only hope for Ecuador's banana producers

Staff writer |
Ecuador exported 253 million boxes of bananas, 5 million more than in 2012 but producers' expectations were not met as they thought there would be a higher increase in sales during 2013.

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Last year's banana exports are still lower than the peak reached in 2011, when exports amounted to 285 million boxes. According to Eduardo Ledesma, the sector's executive director, the country exports 5.1 million boxes of bananas per week, but projections are not encouraging after the high season (February, March and April).

"There is a problem with the weather as it is too cold, the seas have frozen and there are problems marketing on the east coast. All of this decreases the demand," said Gustavo Marún, president of Agroban. The banana sector expects to produce 280 million boxes of bananas in 2014, but "it's still uncertain where we are going to place our fruit abroad, the only alternative we have is to sign an agreement with the European Union."

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