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Pineapple As A Market Sector - Importation / Exportation, Consumption, Regulations, etc.

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There are conflicting claims in the news articles posted in this topic. Readers are advised to do more research into agricultural exports.

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Pineapple, the spearhead of Panamanian exports

Karina Lizcano
Sun, 01/15/2017 - 07:58

 

panamanian pineapple.jpg
Europe, United States and Asia are the main markets of this pineapple
DGC Internaciona

PANAMA CITY.- Although when saying that the first thing that comes to mind is the Canal, the country has many income sources and the most important come from land.

The Panamanian pineapple enjoys a worldwide reputation and is the second most exported fruit from the country of the isthmus behind the banana and one of the main income sources of Chiriquí.

According to data of the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA) published in April 2016, pineapple crop provides the country about $77 million and hires directly 60 thousand people, mainly in West Panama and Chiriquí.

Engineer Eulogio De La Cruz, Head of the Department of Agro-export of the MIDA, stated that despite the unfavorable weather conditions that affected the country’s crops, the pineapple was the spearhead of exported fruits from Panama last year.

Sweet pineapples for everyone

The pineapple does not have harvest season; it is a fruit that is harvested throughout the year. The soil and weather in Panama are adequate for its production. In the country, the outcrop is not produced automatically, but it is planned. All this makes our pineapple be sweeter than the pineapple of other brother countries, such as Costa Rica; therefore it is the favorite of international buyers.

Among the markets that most import our product are the European countries, who buy 70% of the production to export and those who prefer small fruit. The rest is distributed between the United States and, to a lesser degree, Caribbean countries.

Since 2014, Asian countries are interested in the Panamanian pineapple.

The sugar content (brix) of the pineapple type MD-2 is requested in countries such as Turkey and South Korea. During the first quarter of 2014, the companies Cabo Zarzo, Verba Odrec and Faspa could send these markets 49 pineapple containers.

By that period, 11 companies exported its fruit to Europe, Asia and the United States, there existed 14 packing companies registered in the country and 314 pineapple containers were shipped.

The obscurantism

Despite that 2014 was a good year for pineapple exports in Panama, 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2014/15 were years when the amount of hectares planted decreased. By that last crop year, there were 1,504 hectares, 247 hectares less in the immediately preceding year, according to data of the MIDA.

At that time this reduction was blamed on the lack of labor and high costs of production.

While clear policies are not defined for agricultural sector, pineapple plantation and export will continue decaying. In the recent crop season, 423 pineapple containers were sent to the United States, Asia and Europe, 1,261 containers less if it is compared to the cargo sent last year,” as the newspaper La Prensa was told by Carlos Herrera, farmer of Zangüenga.

By 2016, the situation did not improve.

The prices of the Panamanian pineapple abroad reduced and, coupled with high costs of production, some businessmen opted for abandoning the plantation of this fruit.

“Producing a hectare of pineapple went from $28,056 in 2012 to $32,337 in 2015,” as a national newspaper was told by Diómedes Carrasco, producer of La Chorrera.

Carrasco stated that drought affected the dimensions of the fruit, which did not reach the minimum weigh of 4 and 5 pounds required by the US market.

The MIDA informed that in 2013, the amount of exported pineapple was 2,121,000 containers, while in 2014 2,250,000 containers where exported and in 2013 the amount was 2,568,000 containers.

The Comptroller General of the Republic said that in 2015 exports generated $31,951,847 less than in 2014.

The State and private companies to boost production

In August 2015 in the province of Coclé a processing and warehousing company of pasteurized orange and pineapple juices, Fruit Industries, was opened.

The company guaranteed the purchase of 100% of the product to local producers, provided that it met the criteria and standards required by the company.

This opening would generate, according to Panama fruit Industries, more than 350 direct jobs and 200 indirect jobs in the rural areas of Coclé and Veraguas.

“This is an initiative that is bringing life and hope to the land and the national agro-industrial activity,” said President Juan Carlos Varela at that time.

During the opening, the MIDA and the private sector signed an agreement that would allow the training in the area of citrus fruit for recent graduate agricultural engineers, so that the plantation of these fruits could grow and be modernized.

Challenge in 2017

One of the biggest challenges for the government in this 2017 is the reactivation of national agriculture, whose main crops, such as rice, onion, banana, and pineapple were affected by natural phenomena – be it drought or flood -, indiscriminate imports, lack of labor and the increase in raw material prices for its production, such as insecticides.

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/economy/pineapple-spearhead-panamanian-exports-3231

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I continue to learn, having thought until coming across this bit of news from last January, that coffee, and specifically the specialty coffees of Boquete, were the primary agricultural export commodity. That is what I have been led to believe.

Apparently not so.

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Panama: Pineapples generate the largest export revenues

Panama's pineapple exports in January 2017 amounted to $1.126 million dollars, a positive number in the statistics of the Comptroller General of the Republic, as it was the only fruit that recorded an increase when compared to the same period of 2016.
 
Even though the income and export volume of this item has decreased over the past three years, the pineapple, which is mainly produced in La Chorrera, continues to lead fruit exports abroad, followed by bananas, watermelon, and cantaloupe.
 
According to the president of the Panama's Union of Exporters of non-traditional agricultural items (Gantrap), Ana Cheng de Rios, the export data among fruits vary because pineapples are produced throughout the year, while melon and watermelon are only produced in the first four months of the year.
 
She added that the area devoted to melons and watermelon production had decreased and that the number of companies engaged in exporting them had also decreased, which is why there was a decline in exports for these products when compared to January 2016. She also said that, currently, there was a company of exporting pineapple by air to Middle Eastern markets and that, although they were running tests, they have discovered that shipping them by air is favorable for them, as the pineapple shipped by sea take about 21 days to arrive to that destination.
 
Ana Cheng de Rios said that the European countries were the largest importers of fruit from Panama. "Most of our exports arrive at the port of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, and then it is distributed to Spain, Germany and France," said Cheng.
 
Source: metrolibre.com

Publication date: 4/3/2017

 

http://www.freshplaza.com/article/173269/Panama-Pineapples-generate-the-largest-export-revenues

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6 minutes ago, Moderator_02 said:

One of the biggest challenges for the government in this 2017 is the reactivation of national agriculture, whose main crops, such as rice, onion, banana, and pineapple were affected by natural phenomena – be it drought or flood -, indiscriminate imports, lack of labor and the increase in raw material prices for its production, such as insecticides.

Never have truer words been spoken, imo. We have seen one crop crisis after another with rice, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, plantains, etc.

The country is small and could easily be self-sufficient if agricultural production was managed in a better fashion. The infamous Cold Chain storage facilities could be a terrific asset if utilized properly.

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I have never had vegetables and fruits as fresh as I have had in Boquete.  They actually let the tomatoes ripen on the vine instead of gassing them like they do in the US and Canada.  The pineapples I have eaten here are the juiciest and sweetest in the world!  Why we are not exporting more of these crops is a crime.  This wonderful and natural industry is just waiting to be exploited.

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12 hours ago, Bud said:

I continue to learn, having thought until coming across this bit of news from last January, that coffee, and specifically the specialty coffees of Boquete, were the primary agricultural export commodity. That is what I have been led to believe.

Apparently not so.

Bud:

Besides pineapple the other agricultural products for export are: melons and watermelons.  Banana used to be the biggest.  Specialty coffees are a very sofisticated market and the production is not big in volume but makes and interesting amount of money based on the cost of this special type of coffee.  Not in the volume of the other fruits.

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Marie Elaine / Keith

It is a very sad situation.  We have had at least 3 governments that have turned their back to the agricultural producers in this country.  You may know very well how hard is to be a farmer.  The amount of hard work it involves but for the government officials it is better to impulse the imports of products from other countries.  

Why people from the interior of the republic emigrate to Panama City and live in slums? Because they dont have any chance to make a living in the farms.   The most important agricultural and vocational schools in Divisa and other parts of the countries are abandoned and not well funded.  We are killing our farmers!!!  Everything is managed by people in the Metropolitan Panama City in well air conditioned offices that dont know anything about the hard work our poor farmers had to do to give us, in the city, something to eat at fancies restaurants.  

Sorry for my rant.... but this subject makes me feel bad and terrible about how our government offices abandon our hard working farmers.  

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On 4/8/2017 at 3:04 PM, Roger B said:

Sorry for my rant....

Roger, I don't consider your postings here to be rants. You are always well informed and informative.

Thank you for sharing.

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Panamanian Pineapple Seeks New Markets

Panamanian Agro-exporters have begun negotiations to sell the fruit in the markets of Dubai, South Korea and Turkey.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Panamanian businessmen reported that they have sent three containers of pineapples to Dubai and that the transit time is 40 days, which is why the main challenge for exporters is to get the fruit in good condition. 

Regarding the time it takes fruit containers to reach their destination and the quality with which it is maintained, Francis Vergara, administrative manager of Verba Odrec, told Prensa.com that " ... We are analyzing what types of adjustments we can make to achieve a better handling of the fruit to extend shelf life'."

See "Central America sold more pineapple in 2017"

The article reports that "... At the end of the first four months of the year, the value of pineapple exports was set at 4.7 million dollars. The figure represents growth of 11.4% compared to the same period last year, according to statistics from the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic. Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, Jordan and South Korea are the main export destinations for Panamanian pineapple."

See also "Crop Monitoring in Central America"

According to figures from Business Intelligence Unit at CentralAmericaData, in Central America in 2017 the leading exporter of pineapple remained by far Costa Rica, with $981 million sold, followed by Honduras, with $30 million, Panama, with $13 million and Guatemala with $12 million. Nicaragua and El Salvador did not register significant exports.

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/Panamanian_Pineapple_Seeks_New_Markets

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Panama exports 6,400 boxes of MD-2 pineapples to Turkey

Publication date :

The Panamanian company Dolce Pineapple shipped 6,400 boxes of pineapples of the MD-2 variety, which only grows in Panama, to Turkey on Tuesday, stated the Ministry of Agricultural Development of Panama (Mida).

The shipment was made under the Panama Exporta brand, a program promoted by the Panamanian Government through the Ministry of Agricultural Development and the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (Mici).

Four containers with 1,600 boxes with MD-2 pineapples, which have the unsurpassed quality that only occurs here in Panama, were shipped from the community of Veladero in the district of Gualaca, in the western province of Chiriqui, said the director of the exporting company, Jorge Obediente.

The pineapple of this variety is well known for having a good color and flavor. The coordinator of Agricultural Businesses from the Mida in Chiriqui, Rodolfo Lacayo, said that the Panama Exporta was a country brand that accompanies agricultural exporters in the export process, providing them with technical assistance, promoting their products abroad, and guaranteeing the export products have an optimal quality, as required by international markets.

At the national level, there are already more than 30 companies registered in the Panama Exporta Program, 40 percent of which operate in the province of Chiriqui, said Lacayo.

The Panamanian Minister of Agricultural Development, Eduardo Enrique Carles, recently announced the opening of the commercial office of the Panama Exporta program in Shanghai, China, which will expand the possibilities of exporting Panamanian products to that market, according to official information.

 

http://www.freshplaza.com/article/9039024/panama-exports-boxes-of-md-pineapples-to-turkey/

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Agricultural business in Central America

Coffee is still the main agricultural product sold abroad, with annual exports of around $3,035 million, followed by bananas, with $2,574 million and sugar, with $1,241 million.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Figures from the interactive platform "Central American Crops Monitoring" compiled by CentralAmericaData's Business Intelligence Unit:

During the last year, the main coffee export destinations were the U.S., Germany, Belgium, Japan and Canada, which together account for 73% of total sales in the region. In 2017 the average price per kilo of coffee showed a downward trend, going from $3.32 to $2.88 between January and December.

Bananas are the second most important agricultural product for the region according to the value exported, since in 2017 Central America sold abroad $2,574 million, equivalent to 6.1 million tons. Last year regional sales of this fruit registered an increase of 7% compared to 2016, and exports reached record figures.

Sugar was the third most important crop in 2017 for the region, with Central American countries exporting a total of $1.241 million last year. The main destinations for sugar exports were the U.S., Taiwan, Canada and Ivory Coast, which together account
nearly 40% of total sales.

 

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/Agricultural_business_in_Central_America

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Moderator comment: This topic principally is about Panamanian pineapple exports. This specific article looks at all Central American (CA) activity in this agricultural sector. It appears that Costa Rica is the only CA country that is really serious about exporting pineapple. Hmmm, food for thought (pardon the pun).

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Central America: Pineapple Exports up 14%

In the first half of the year, Central American countries exported pineapple for $583 million, 14% more than in the same period in 2017, mainly because of sales to U.S. companies.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Figures from the information system on the Pineapple Market in Central America complied by the Business Intelligence Unit at CentralAmericaData:

image.png

Variation in Regional Exports
Between the first half of 2017 and the same period in 2018, the volume exported of pineapple registered an 18% increase, rising from 1.1 million tons to 1.3 million tons.

For the periods concerned, the value exported also increased, in this case the increase was 14% from $514 million in 2017 to $583 million in 2018.

Exports by country
During the first six months of 2018, the largest pineapple exporter in Central America remained by far Costa Rica with $547 million, followed by Honduras with $22 million, Guatemala with $8 million, Panama with $7 million, and Nicaragua and El Salvador reported no foreign sales.

Destination of exports
From January to June 2018, 51% of the value exported from Central America went to the U.S., 14% to the Netherlands, 8% to Italy, 7% to Spain and 6% to Belgium.

Price of exports
Between January 2012 and June 2018, the average price per kilo of pineapple exports by countries in the region ranged from $0.39 to $0.47.

 

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/Central_America_Pineapple_Exports_up_14

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Panama pineapples China bound

751C7901-3CF9-4D86-A29C-A4FDEA0144FE.jpeg

Posted 01/10/2019

The first container of Panamanian pineapples destined  for Chinese consumers   set sail on Tuesday, October 1  to Beijing

They came from the  La Chorrera and will be followed by  12.5 containers a week sent in the coming months.

The head of Agribusiness of the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA), Thomas Solis, said fruit export will be  12 to 25 containers a week in 2020 and   25 to 50 containers per month in 2021  and within 5 years, they are expected to reach 100 containers per week.

The People's Republic of China represents a potential consumer market of 1,4 billion inhabitants for Panama .

Sergio Vargas, of the Panama Ananas Trading Inc, said that in addition to China they export the product to 20 countries in Europe, the United States, South America and the Caribbean. 

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/panama-pineapples-china-bound

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180,000 kilos of Panama pineapples airlifted to Europe

pines.jpg

Posted 23/02/2020

A total of 180,000 kilos of  Panama pineapples destined for luxury hotels and restaurants were exported by air to Europe on February 12  on an Air Europa flight

They,from the Verba Odre company, located in La Chorrera, which buys from small producers and went  to France, Italy, and Germany.

The product will have a cost in the European market of between 10 and 12 dollars per unit for the consumer and will reach cities where there are culinary centers and luxury hotels.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/180000-kilos-of-panama-pineapples-airlifted-to-europe

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41 minutes ago, Moderator_02 said:

cost in the European market of between 10 and 12 dollars per unit

Wow. At those prices for pineapple I am wondering if they were they flown first class to Europe? Or is the cost of living in Europe at that level? Or is someone gouging the market? Those are ridiculous prices.

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Pandemic boosts Panama pineapple sales

pineapples.jpg

Posted 15/03/2020

As the world’s economy trembles from the weight of the coronavirus pandemic, Panama’s pineapple producers are seeing an increase  in sales as consumers seek  multivitamin foods rich in antioxidants, to gain  what they believe is a defense against diseases such as the coronavirus

Panama produces and exports the MD2 Golden pineapple, a fruit that is sweeter has less fiber and acidity than that produced in other countries; And it can contain up to four times more vitamin C than regular varieties.

Hipólito Vergara, director of pineapple operations at Verba Odrec, said that these qualities of the Panamanian fruit have allowed demand to strengthen towards the European market now that consumers are demanding more fruits and vegetables reports TVN

Our customers in Europe, who supply supermarket chains, report that pineapple consumption has risen. "We have clients in Italy, one of our main markets, and so far they have not canceled any orders, on the contrary, we have increased them," said Vergara.

The Chorrera company exports to Europe between 40,000 and 50,000 kilograms of the fruit a week. 20% of the shipments go to the Italian market. Verba Odrec pineapple is packed on pallets (wooden pallet) with capacity for 36 boxes with six fruits per box.

The box with six fruits and an average weight of 12 kilograms shipped by air has a cost in the European market of between $10 and $12. For boxes sent by boat, its price ranges from $ 5 to $ 6 per box.

Turkey, the United States, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Jordan, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, France, Ireland, Japan and the United Arab Emirates, are some of the main destinations for the Panamanian fruit.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/pandemic-boosts-panama-pineapple-sales

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