Antioquia’s Banana Growers Seeing Big Jump in Exports: Augura
The Medellin-based national trade association for Colombia’s banana growers (“Asociacion de Bananeros de Colombia,” also known as “Augura”) announced March 2 that 2015 exports jumped 14% year-on-year (y-o-y), to 94 million 20-kilogram (kg) boxes.
Augura, which represents 75% of all Colombian banana acreage, notes that the major producing areas are Uraba (Antioquia), Magdalena and La Guajira.
Uraba is number-one in Colombian banana plantations with 34,267 hectares. Uraba producers exported 68 million 20-kg boxes last year, followed by Magdalena (11,426 hectares, 22.5 million boxes) and La Guajira (1,714 hectares, 3.3 million boxes), according to Augura.
The rise in the value of the U.S. dollar versus the Colombian peso is largely responsible for the surge in Colombian banana exports, according to Augura president Juan Camilo Restrepo Gómez.
“After 10 years of continued and steep revaluation [of the Colombian peso against the U.S. dollar], today thanks to the strong dollar it’s possible for our producers to undertake better programs of fertilization and infrastructure investment – key to better harvests,” Restrepo added.
The European Union continues as the number-one export destination for Colombian bananas, accounting for 67% of the total, followed by the United States (18%) and other European states (14%). Belgium is the single-largest buyer of Colombian bananas, accounting for 34% of total exports.
Sales revenues for Colombian banana exporters rose to US$836 million last year, up from US$738 million in 2014, according to Augura.