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Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 05:15 PM EDT

Panama: banana shortage due to strike threatens Chiquita

Money Matters Tholen - The Panamanian union Sitrachilco has paralyse all banana picking activities of Coosemupar as from 06:30 local time today, when no new price agreements have been made with Chiquita, which is the exclusive buyer of Coosemupar and the previous owner of the plantations. The present contract is only in the advantage of the multinational, according to Salustiano Degracia, secretary general of Sitrachilco and representative of the 2400 employees. When deliveries to Chiquita are indeed interrupted, Ecuador is to expect even better prices for its bananas, as a shortage threatens the multinational, which will have to compensate this by buying elsewhere. Similarly the Ecuadorian press reports that few hours of light and abundant rains in El Oro and Los Ríos have reduced production there with 25 to 30%. Joseph Carrión, a banana grower from El Guabo, warns that the fungus disease Sigatoka can easily disperse under these conditions. Also 300 ha of banana cultivation has reportedly been inundated in the southern region of Arenillas, because of the river Zarumilla overflowing its banks. Last week the box price of bananas reached a level of $ 6,50 to $ 7, while prices between $ 3,50 to $ 4,70 are reportedly expected for this week. Another grower in El Oro argues that his lower price level may indeed be reached, but not until a few weeks from now. Publication date: 06 Mar 2006

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