Costa Rica banana producers association, Corbana, has reported strong growth in a number of its key European markets, with global export figures reaching an all-time high.

Export volumes rose over 5% last year, Corbana said today (18 February). The association said the EU has remained a key importer of Costa Rica bananas, with a growth of 2.4% on 2006 figures, hitting a new record of 55.9m boxes.

Exports to Belgium grew by almost 82%, Germany by 24.6% and Italy by 10%, while those to the UK were up by 7.2%.

The association reported record export revenue of US$659.1m.

Jorge Sauma Aguilar, CEO of Corbana, said: "Last year's performance demonstrates that the recovery initiated in 2006 has been based on solid ground and is in line with our global growth strategy.

"This coming year we plan to maintain our growth by consolidating our programme of research and sustainable development. "