Costa Rica’s banana industry overcame production issues caused by irregular rainfall patterns and global oversupply to put in a solid performance in the European market last year.
Jorge Sauma of national banana corporation Corbana said despite seeing lower rainfall in the first half of the year followed by an unusually wet second semester, companies were able to maintain their output levels and preliminary figures point to an export total of around 110m boxes, a similar volume to 2013.
Figures for the first nine months of 2014 show that total banana imports to the European Union rose by around 5 per cent last year, but the rise in imports from Costa Rica was closer to 10 per cent – a fact Sauma put down to the strong differentiation the country has achieved through the high social and environmental standards behind its banana production.
“The European market was positive, if not robust,” he noted. “Generally, during periods of oversupply prices tend to fall, but this was not the case last year. Having said that, we cannot rule out further increases in global supply in the coming years nor the normal consequences that such an imbalance creates.”