A rebound in prices late last year meant that between September and June exports ascend to $235 million, 15% more than in the same period in the previous harvest.
Although there was a reduction in export volumes, the increase in international prices favored exporters of the fruit, who asserted that they sold "... about 30,800 tons between September 2014 and June 2015."
After a difficult year because of the impact of the Thrips pest and declining international prices, at the end of 2014 $240 million were generated in export earnings.
With the annual increase of 10% in production, Guatemala maintains its global market lead in cardamom sales. According to the Guatemalan Exporters Association (Agexport), since 2005 they have increased their sales by up to 241%. However, industry representatives argue hey that face significant challenges such as reducing the incidence of pests and improving grain quality.
Guatemalan producers are selling their production on the global market at $12 - $12.5 per kilo, while India is offering its produce at $14 - $14.5.
Cardamom exports from India, the second largest producer of the seed after Guatemala, have been negatively affected by the actions of Guatemalan producers, who held back their supply while prices in India were low and waited for them to go up before selling on the market at more competitive prices.
Guatemala Exporters are opposed to a bill that would give the state control of production, marketing and export of the seed.
From a statement from the Guatemalan Exporters Association :
Given the problems of overproduction and poor product of cardamom in the last years, which has had a negative impacted in the form of lower prices, affecting small producers to the international market, the Committee on Cardamom at AGEXPORT is calling on the country to join in efforts to address the needs of the productive chain which more than 350,000 people are involved in, with concrete actions ranging from technical assistance, diversification, research and the development of entrepreneurial skills of producer groups.
A cardamom corridor would improve institutional coordination and provide a control system to provide protection against the insect thrips.
These were some of the conclusions reached during the First National Congress on Cardamom which took place in the country. "We are proposing the creation of a quadrant to be called the cardamom corridor, where we divide ourselves up by area, and once sectored, we will take action," said the organizing committee chairman, Pablo Moreno.
Rambutan, mangosteen, mango, cardamom, achiote, pepper, and other fruits and vegetables, are the products that are being offered in several Chinese cities.
A statement from the Costa Rican Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER) reads:
Guatemalan agricultural products are seeking to enter the Chinese market
In order to open new markets for Guatemalan agricultural exporters, representatives from the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (AGEXPORT), public-private institutions, the PACIT trade program and entrepreneurs will be on a mission to Asia, from the August 31 to September 10.
Data from the Bank of Guatemala (Banguat) also showed a decrease in export volumes which amounted to 137 million kilos, 28.3% less than the 191 million kilos in the same period in 2011.
During the same period, reductions have been reported not only on income from foreign sales of coffee; the situation is the same with exports of natural rubber and cardamom. For natural rubber the reduction in export value was 24.6%, and for cardamom, 25.6%.
The current harvest will not be in time to take advantage of peak consumption which occurs during Ramadan, which this year has been moved forward in the calendar.
An article in Elperiodico.com.gt reports that "Guatemala is the largest exporter of cardamom in the world and supplier to Middle Eastern countries, but this year it will not be able to take advantage of Ramadan, as India, the largest producer, has started its harvest last month. "
The Guatemalan Exporters Association is a private non-profit entity, established in 1982; that represents, promotes and develops non traditional exports of Guatemalan companies.
Operates in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala
Phone: (502) 2422-3400
As part of the Agritrade Platform, Guatemala will participate for the 27th time in PMA Fresh Summit, the most important international trade show and convention of fruits and vegetables in the United States, which will take place at Anaheim Convention Center, California from October 17th to 19th.