In its preliminary market review report, the United Nations’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated that Philippine banana exports last year expanded by 77.34 percent to an all-time high of 2.95 million metric tons, from a recorded volume of 1.663 MMT in 2017.
Meaning the Philippines has reclaimed its position as the second-largest exporter of bananas in the world, but Filipino growers urged the government to provide more support to maintain the stature, amid tightening competition with South American producers according to businessmirror.com.
“Banana production in the Philippines was affected by a series of adverse conditions between 2015 and 2017, in response to which significant investments were made in area expansion, new technologies and improved inputs,” FAO said in the report published recently.
“Thanks to the strong performance in 2018, the Philippines regained its place as second-largest supplier of bananas behind Ecuador, at a volume share of 16 percent of global shipments,” it added.
The output recovery of the Philippines, which accounts for about 90 percent of the total Asian banana exports, boosted the region’s shipments, which grew by 70 percent in 2018 to 3.2 MMT, from 1.9 MMT in 2017, according to FAO.
The rise in the Philippines’s exports coupled by the steady increment of Ecuador’s banana supply, will drive global shipments to a record-high volume of 19.205 MMT,. Ecuador’s banana exports in 2018 was projected to increase by 3.6 percent to 6.646 MMT, from 6.415 MMT in 2017, according to FAO.
The increase in the country’s shipments would mean “higher revenues, more employment and bigger contribution to the [country’s] gross domestic product,” according to the Pilipino Banana Growers & Exporters Association Inc. (PBGEA).
“Hopefully, we will be able to sustain good production this year. More so if we improve pest and disease management,” PBGEA Executive Director Stephen A. Antig told the BusinessMirror in an interview. Antig said the country’s exports could decline if output is affected by “destructive typhoons and other disturbances,” that could cause outbreak of diseases.