QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica’s banana growers reached an export record in 2020, despite the impact of the pandemic, shipping fruit in new markets and even sacrificed prices, according to a report released this Thursday, February 25.
Figures from the Corporación Bananera Nacional (Corbana) – National Banana Corporation – indicate that last year ended with the export of 129.6 million boxes of 18.14 kilos of the fruit, a historical record.
The 2019 export volume closed at 120.7 million boxes.
For its part, the statistical portal of the Foreign Trade Promoter (Procomer) reported the export of 2.62 million tons of bananas last year, compared to 2.40 million tons in 2019.
The volume reported by Corbana is 2.35 million tons.
Corbana’s report of this Thursday, February 25, details that banana farmers had to come to sell the fruit in new markets, in view of the restrictions imposed on traditional markets to face the pandemic.
Apart from looking for other cities in the United States, Costa Rican bananas reached markets in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, according to Corbana.
A condition that favored banana sales in Costa Rica last year was a reduction in supply from Honduras and Guatemala, hit by climatic conditions, while Costa Rica enjoyed a good climate.
The United States was the main destination country of Costa Rica’s banana exports in 2019. Costa Rica’s banana exports reached a total of nearly one billion dollars (US$999.7 million) in 2019 and fourth in the world, behind Ecuador, the Philippines, Colombia, according to reports by Statista.com and worldstopexports.com.
In the region, Guatemala is 5th, Panama 10th and Honduras 12th.
The world’s biggest banana-supplying conglomerates are Chiquita, Dole and Del Monte.
In Costa Rica, Bananas are the single largest agricultural export, followed by pineapples and coffee. Bananas are produced in relatively large plantations by independent producers and multinational companies that control about 50 percent of the area planted.