An expected decrease in custom tariffs for exporters from Central America ( namely, Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica) are matter of concern for African banana producers. Indeed, Apibana (African Pineapples and Bananas Association), warns of a drop of African exports to Europe by 15%, while seeing an increase of 17% of Central American exports.
The banana sector now enjoys free trade with Europe but this may not be renewed in 2014, if the well-known and often discussed requirements by the European Commission are not met. According to Freshplaza, Apibana thinks that the EU should sign this agreement again at any cost to allow the sector to retain its privileged position.
In 2010, around 550,000 tons of bananas were exported by Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Ghana, which represented barely more than 10% of the quantities sold in Europe. The production in Central America (2.4 million tons) now already profits from the advantages of scale, as a consequence of which they can offer more attractive prices.