Colombia’s leading banana traders saw a US$38.4m rise in exports in 2017 according to producer association Augura.
In a presentation due to be made at Augura’s annual general assembly this week, the association’s president Juan Camilo Restrepo Gomez said that banana shipments totalled US$850m last year, a 4.7 per cent increase on the 2016 total of US$811.6m.
Exports rose by 4.9 per cent in volume, climbing from 93.4m boxes in 2016 to 98m in 2017.The main destinations were Belgium, with 36m boxes, the UK with 15m boxes, and the US with 13m boxes.
Restrepo said that there had been an increase in planted area and productivity in the country’s three main growing regions, Uraba, Magdalena and La Guajira.
There was a total of 49,307ha of production last year compared with 47,272ha in 2016. Each hectare produced 2,264 boxes of fruit, up from 2,044 boxes in the previous year.
However, Restrepo noted that the 10.7 per cent increase in productivity was still insufficient to compete in international markets with other Latin American producers that average 2,900-3,000 boxes per hectare.