Dry spell and typhoons cut banana production by 2.83%

The Philippine's banana output shrank by an annualized rate of 2.83 percent to 4.375 million metric tons (MMT), as growers harvested smaller and poorer-quality fruits due to the dry spell, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

The latest figure was 127,000 metric tons lower than the 4.502 MMT recorded in the January-to-June period of 2018, data from the PSA showed.

The PSA said the lingering effects of typhoons Ompong and Rosita, which struck the country late last year, caused harvest in Cagayan Valley to go down.

In Davao region, the country’s major banana producer, lower output was caused by the moko disease. Insufficient rainfall also resulted in smaller banana bunches during the fruiting stage from March to May, the PSA said.

“Further, smaller sizes and lower quality of fruits were developed in Soccsksargen because of the dry spell during the first quarter of 2019,” it added.

Due to higher demand and stiff competition among local buyers, the PSA said the average farm-gate price of bananas rose 13.15 percent to P19.18 per kilogram from P16.95 per kg last year.

Because of the higher buying price, the value of the six-month banana output, in current prices, reached P83.927 billion, nearly 10 percent over last year’s P76.314 billion.

The PSA also reported that the country’s mango output recovered in the first half and posted a 5.37-percent increment on the back of favorable planting conditions.

During the six-month period, total mango production reached 651,790 MT compared to the 626,190 MT recorded in the same period last year, PSA data showed.

“More voluntary flowering and fruiting were observed as induced by hot weather condition in Ilocos region. There [was] also lesser occurrence of cecid fly and leafhopper pests in the region,” it said.

“Lesser occurrence of cecid fly pests and anthracnose disease was likewise reported in Calabarzon. In Socsksargen, more trees bore fruits as a result of sunny weather condition,” it added.

However, the PSA said higher output and the perception of a supply glut pulled down the average farm-gate price of mangoes in the first half.

PSA data showed that mango was bought at an average price of P31.51 per kg, 17.03 percent lower than the P37.98 per kg average quotation last year.

Due to lower buying prices, the value of mango output in the first half declined 13.64 percent to P20.538 billion, from P23.782 billion recorded last year.

Source: BusinessMirror

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