Ecuadorian fruits in Europe, how are they going?

Published on 09 July 2020

This note reviews the performance of the main Ecuadorian fruit exports to Europe. At the moment, the traditional portfolio of the item is the one that is most consolidated.

Europe has the most sophisticated consumer markets globally, along with North America, Japan and South Korea.For this reason, it is very natural to diversify export portfolios by introducing products with high related added value such as origin, quality or organic certification.

Conventional varieties also have space to advance on this continent, especially due to the location of Ecuador in both hemispheres of the planet. In this way, Ecuadorian shipments not only compete with those of tropical Asian and African producers, also compete with Central American ones. It should be noted that these Ecuadorian shipments can complement other Central American areas because they are located further south and produce in different seasons

In general, Ecuador is known for offering bananas, cocoa, passion fruits (maracuyá, granadilla) and mango, these are precisely the products that stand out two oceans away by sea travel, which is the main route used. The following table describes the performance of the exports of the main Ecuadorian fruits shipped to Europe, the first description is at the annual level and the second description is regarding the accumulated in the first third of the current year compared to the same period in 2019

The weight of bananas and cocoa is significantly higher compared to the rest of the portfolio. In fact, Ecuador is the main banana exporter in the world, and its consolidation in the market continues. Meanwhile, in the case of cocoa, the combination of huge quantities with the availability of high-value varieties establishes the country as a prominent origin globally.

It should be noted that both products have allowed the development of small producer cooperatives that have partnered to achieve economies of scale and better qualities. In this sense, international cooperation plays an important role, among the cooperations that stand out are funds from the Netherlands, where the port of Rotterdam serves as the gateway for exports to all of Europe.

The following tables show the main European destinations of the products analyzed in the previous tables. In them, the importance of the Netherlands as a logistical connection is confirmed, as well as the particularity of Russia indicated like an independent destination for the case of bananas.

In the case of products of high direct and industrial consumption such as bananas and cocoa, the concentration in the Netherlands is almost absolute. Among the smaller destinations, perhaps the United Kingdom can be more exploited with direct shipments due to the high capacity of its consumers and due to the particularities in the culinary customs of its inhabitants. The connection with France through the Eurotunnel allows to receive cargo landed in Rotterdam by trucks, but the cost could be less if we take advantage of the fact that Great Britain is a previous stop on the routes of passengers carrying cargo from South America to the Dutch port.

In general, the European continent will always offer growth alternatives for high-value products, while at the same time involving other potential clients around the world: if the most demanding challenges are met. In this way, Ecuador can and should benefit from free trade to generate more jobs and improve the quality of life of citizens. In times like the present, in the agro-industrial sector it is one of those that has not been hit hard by the pandemic crisis, exploring opportunities in the old continent is one of the best alternatives to consider.

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