Effects of COVID19 on agribusiness in Colombia, Peru & Ecuador - UPDATE #4

Here is an update of the most relevant developments so far in Colombia, Peru & Ecuador related to COVID-19 and the effects on the agricultural sector. Read more about the impact it has on Coffee,  avocado, cacao and other exports.


April had 2.9 million people employed in agriculture equals to 17.8% of the total workforce in Colombia. 4.2% lower than last year.


Overall, the country's exportations dropped 52.3%. But the category of exports of food and agricultural products in April reached US $ 569.2 million, which meant a drop of 9.4% compared to April 2019 when they had been US $ 628.4 million.

In the category of food products and live animals, segments such as coffee drop to 4.8%; and fruits such as bananas 6.9%. In the livestock sector such as exports of live cattle, frozen or refrigerated meat had an increase of almost 1%.


Coffee production in May was almost 1.2 million 60-kg bags, 6% more than in May 2019. In the last 12 months, production exceeded 14 million bags, 4% more than almost 13.6 million bags produced in the same previous period.

In the first 5 months of 2020, production in Colombia reached 4.8 million bags, 12% less compared to the same period of the year.

Colombia maintains good production levels and that, if it continues like this, 2020 would be the sixth year where the coffee harvest exceeds 14 million bags, historical levels for the country's coffee growing.



Three organizations that sell chestnuts achieved direct sales without intermediaries a total of 16 tons of certificate organic chesnuts were sold to USA. This sale is part of a total of 144 tons of organic chestnuts committed to deliver during this year 2020. The transaction will benefit 350 families from the most vulnerable communities.

The aforementioned organizations also have the support of the NGOs “Tejiendo Sonrisas”and ACCA, as well as the Ministries of Production and of Agriculture and Irrigation, which together with Sierra and Selva Exportadora carry out a joint work providing support in the different stages of the production and commercialization of the chestnut.

Peru is the second largest supplier of chestnuts to United States, competing with countries such as Brazil and the Ivory Coast.


Agro-exports grew 10.2% in the first quarter of the year, shipments were led by grapes and avocados. From the beginning of the mandatory isolation, work was done to promote the activities carried out by the agrarian sector to continue and ensure the productive chain.

The agricultural sector protocol was approved to urge producers, entrepreneurs and workers in the agricultural sector to implement health and rationalization measures in their facilities to contribute to containment measures against the coronavirus.


Avocado shipments grew 226% in the first quarter of the year. Other products that increased their sales were: fresh grapes (23%), frozen mango (31%), fresh mangoes (3.3%) and fresh asparagus (1.8%).

Between January to March, Peruvian agro-exports added sales of US $ 1,654 million, which represented a growth of 6.7% compared to the same period last year.

Traditional agro-exports reached US $ 62 million. Within this group of products, exports of unroasted coffee (US $ 46 million) and sugar (US $ 8.4 million) stand out.

Fruit exports (US $ 1,020 million) and pulses (US $ 203 million) represented 77% of non-traditional agro-exports. Fruits and cereals (rice and quinoa, mainly), registered positive growth figures of 19% and 24%.



With 133 votes in favor, the new oil palm law that seeks to strengthen the normal operation of the crop was approved this Tuesday in the National Assembly, in addition to benefiting some 120,000 families in Ecuador.

This complete support of the assembly members shows that everyone agreed that the palm growing sector deserved a regulatory law for the normal operation of the crop.

Once the law has the final approval, a regulation will be drafted where the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the palm grower union, both farmers and industry, must participate.

The standardization of prices, marketing and exports would be some of the points of relevance to be dealt with in said regulation, guaranteeing that Ecuador never stops having oil for local consumption, seeking to be able to export surpluses without problems. The issue of biodiesel or biofuel from oil palm, will also be addressed with this new law.


According to the executive director of the Association of Coffee Exporters, ANECAFE despite the pandemic, 2020 will be a good year for the coffee harvest which will exceed 2019.

ANECAFE expects that harvest will be 30% higher than last year, although not in all areas the harvest started at the same time. According to calculations, 350,000 46-kg bags will be produced, of which 180,000 will be Arabic and 170,000 robust coffee.

Prices and consumption have dropped due to the closure of coffee shops around the world, it is expected that in a short time everything can reach normality so that the level of sales rises.

Lack of labor is one of the problems that producers are facing due to mobilization restrictions and for fear of the virus many people do not want to work.


Ecuadorian cocoa exports continued to rise during the first half of 2020. From January to April, Ecuador managed to export, according to figures from the National Association of Cocoa and Industrialized Exporters, Anecacao, a total of 91,821 tons worth $ 223,373,918.

Although the cocoa farmers have uncertainty, they have managed to secure contracts for the next three months, although consumption of the product has decreased worldwide.