For the second consecutive year, in 2019, the Philippines was the second-largest exporter of Cavendish bananas, with total shipments reaching a record high 4 million tons, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.
However, industry stakeholders sounded the alarm that it may be difficult to surpass or even match the sector’s performance last year due to a number of factors, including the spread of the dreaded Fusarium wilt to other banana plantations.
“Thanks to the significant recovery in supplies in 2018 and 2019, the Philippines regained its place as second-largest global exporter of bananas behind Ecuador, accounting for an estimated 20 percent of global shipments in 2019,” the FAO said in its preliminary annual report on global banana markets published recently.
The FAO estimated that Philippine Cavendish exports last year expanded by 17 percent to an “unprecedented record” of almost 4 million tons, from the 3.38 million tons posted in 2018. The rise in Philippine Cavendish exports caused Asia’s shipments last year to go up by 18 percent to 4.5 million tons, from 3.8 million tons in 2018, according to the FAO report.
“The rise is primarily due to another year of strong production growth in the Philippines,” it said. “The Philippines ranks as the largest exporter in the region, accounting for approximately 90 percent of total export volumes from Asia.”
The country’s Cavendish exports from January to November 2019 reached 3.963 million tons, eclipsing the previous record shipment of 3.631 million tons in 2014, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showed. This is the first time that the country’s Cavendish exports reached the 4 million tons-mark.