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Ecuador’s Exports Up 90 Percent In Just 3 Years

Ecuador’s export of canned tuna and pre-cooked loins has been on the rise since 2009, showing significant increases each year. In 2012, Ecuador exported a whole 90 percent more tuna products than the 80,825 tons it shipped three years previously. Over 20 different countries form the destinations of Ecuador’s processed tuna.

The jump witnessed from 2010 to 2011 is the most dramatic hike in the South American countries tuna exports, with numbers rising by over 40,000 tons from 83,569 tons to 123,878. This was the result of an even more significant upsurge in tuna catch for the Ecuadorean fleet, seeing a 79,821 rise from 2010 to 2011 levels. This represented a 38 percent catch increase year on year, providing plenty of raw material for local processors to expand their exports.

Ecuador is the world’s second largest tuna exporting nation, following modestly behind Thailand. Ecuador’s three major destination countries are Venezuela, Spain and the United States, together receiving around 44 percent of its shipped tuna in 2012. While tuna exports to Spain and Venezuela rocket from 2011 to last year, the United States sustained its import of goods from the country.

Recent negotiations have taken place in Brussels surrounding Ecuador’s interest in securing a free tuna trade agreement with the European Union. Ecuador seeks zero duty on tuna exported to the EU as part of the European Partnership Agreement (EPA). European member states: Spain, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Portugal and Denmark make up important markets for Ecuador’s tuna exports.

Zero duty trade on tuna products to the EU could push the current rising trend of Ecuador’s exports to continue, increasing shipments to European countries. A rejection of the free trade request would leave Ecuador subject to 24 percent tax on its shipped canned tuna and pre-cooked loins.

A 24 percent tax stamped on its tuna exports destined for the EU would have a devastating effect on the Ecuadorean tuna industry tuna products in a hugely competitive market when faced against other South American countries like Colombia and Peru with whom the EU has already agreed on the favorable trade conditions.

A report from the Corporation of the Promotion of Exports and Investments in Brussels has said that the Generalized System of Preferences outlined that there were differences and a lack of agreement amongst member countries of the European Union on the granting of trade deals with certain nations. Countries such as Pakistan and Ecuador have caused disagreement between member states.
If the renewal is not made by December 31 this year, Ecuador’s request for free trade will expire and the fee of 24 percent on tuna exports will cause the country tough competition.