Although there has been an increase in the export of bananas, the profit margins remain low as exporters contend with increasing production costs. Data from the Department of Agriculture showed that the value of banana exports increased by 56 percent to $1.13 million in 2017. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), in a statement, said this increase can be attributed to the expansion of banana plantations and lesser weather disturbances.
Philippine Banana Grower’s Export Association (PBGEA) executive director Stephen Antig said the banana export industry welcomes the report, but noted that exporters did not profit quite as much as expected: “The increase in profit margins is not that big, considering that a large portion of the inputs in producing bananas is also imported using US dollars.”
Antig told sunstar.com.ph that the cost of exporting bananas must also be considered. “The continuous increase in fuel is also adding to the woes of exporters and to top it all the recent adjustment in the minimum wage of 16 percent.” Presently, data from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries showed that petroleum prices are at $1.17 per liter and $1.07 per liter for diesel. The recent adjustment in the minimum wage also adds to the production cost.