New EU rules for banana imports will help Panama

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: International trade, Spanish language, United states, Eu

A European Union pledge to open up access to Latin American banana
imports from July 1 should boost market conditions for depressed
Panamanian producers,...

A European Union pledge to open up access to Latin American banana imports from July 1 should boost market conditions for depressed Panamanian producers, the Panamanian government said on June 25. "If the EU keeps with its commitment, I see a dynamic market that Panama growers could take advantage of,"​ said Francisco Alvarez de Soto, Panama's director general of international economic affairs. As of July 1, the EU is to open up access to Latin American banana imports under the terms of an agreement reached with the United States in April to end a long-running trans-Atlantic banana war. By Jan. 1 next year, the EU plans to increase a quota intended mainly for Latin American bananas by 100,000 tonnes while reducing the quota for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries by the same amount. Panama, which is the region's fifth largest banana producer, saw exports fall 15.4 per cent to 10.32 million 18-kg boxes in the year to May, down from some 12.2 million boxes a year earlier. While increased access to European markets could provide a boost to local producers, Alvarez de Soto said the sector's recovery depended on growers' capacity to meet quality and pricing demands laid down by a competitive market. Panama, which exported some 27.2 million 18-kg cases of bananas worth $148.3 million in 2000, tentatively estimates that the discriminatory EU regime cost local exporters around $500 million. Source: Reuters

Related topics: Policy

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