Spanish bananas lost ground to imported bananas in the Peninsula in October

Canary bananas are still doing badly or very badly in what is practically their only overseas destination: the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands, as revealed in the most recent data on foreign trade published by the Customs and Special Taxes Administration of the Spanish Tax Agency.

According to those official records, collected and analysed by economist Juan S. Nuez Yánez in his blog Hoja Bananeras, 30,238 tonnes were shipped from the Canary Islands to the Spanish peninsular and Balearic market last October, while Africa and Latin America supplied some 30,418 tonnes (more than Canary bananas). Re-exports stood at 7,002 tonnes.

With this market situation, the available supply in the Peninsula and the Balearic Islands in October would have amounted to around 53,654 tonnes. If this global figure is compared with that of September, the volumes arriving from the Canary Islands fell by 1.5%, while those of banana imports grew by 19.1%. Re-exports fell by 17.9%, so the total available supply was 12.5% ​​higher in October than in September.

If we look at the development of the Peninsular and Balearic banana market from January to October 2017, Spanish consumers have had access to some 487.457 tonnes of bananas; that is, 8,757 less than in the same period of 2016, which represents a 1.8% drop.

The Canary archipelago shipped 1,454 tonnes less than in the same period of the previous year (-0.5%), while banana imports increased slightly (+17,549 tonnes, +7.5%), while re-exports have grown notably (+24,852 tonnes, +43.6%).

Given these volumes, the market share of imported bananas in October oscillated between a minimum of 44% and a maximum of 57%, although it is reasonable to believe that this percentage was closer to the latter figure than to the former, since 91% of re-exports had Portugal as a destination, and this is the usual market for Canary fruit failing to find a place in peninsular Spain.

If the analysis of the market share of imported bananas in the Spanish peninsular and Balearic market is made for 2017 as a whole, it becomes clear that imports have taken between 35% and 52% of the market, with the real percentage being probably closer to the latter figure. In 2016, it the share oscillated between 36% and 47%, which left more room ​​for the fruit from the Canary Islands.

Currently, there are also other methods to find out the market share of imported bananas in the Spanish peninsular and Balearic markets. At the time this analysis was carried out (26 December 2017), the Household Consumption Panel of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Government of Spain had data available up to October.

If consumption in the Canary Islands is discarded from the parameters supplied by the Panel and if we consider that all shipments of Canary bananas were marketed in Spanish territory, the market share of imported bananas amounts to around 23% on average, well below the minimum estimated with the previous method.

Regarding this system, it must also be kept in mind that it does not take into account the consumption in the Horeca channel (hotel and catering) and rules out that part of the Canary banana production is sold outside of Spain, which is the case with Portugal.

On this same issue, Asprocan has reported in various press releases about the volume quota in Spanish households according to the data provided by Kantar Worldpanel, which also ignores the Horeca channel and the re-export of Canary bananas.

According to these records, the market share of imported bananas in January (last monthly report published) would have reached 26.70%; a figure which is also very far from the minimum estimated with the first method.

Avalanche of imported bananas at very low prices

As for the 30,418 tonnes of bananas imported in October, the average CIF price was 0.52 Euro per kilo. There was a noteworthy presence of fruit from Mexico (three million kilos), which cost just 0.36 Euro per kilo, and from France (2.2 million kilos), which cost 0.38 Euro per kilo.

Looking at the volumes, we should highlight the 9.7 million kilos supplied by Costa Rica, the 6.1 of Ivory Coast and the 4.9 of Colombia. These three origins accounted for 68% of the imports in October in Spain.

In the first ten months of 2017, the volume of banana imports has stood at 252.6 million kilos, with 82 million coming from Costa Rica at 0.52 Euro per kilo; 45.9 from Ivory Coast at 0.66 Euro per kilo; 34.7 million from France at just 0.29 Euro per kilo, and 31 million from Colombia at 0.54 Euro per kilo. These origins account for 77% of all imported bananas in terms of volume.

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