The overall price of Chinese bananas did not show any major fluctuations last week (April 5-11), but the conditions in individual production areas were not stable at all. The main reason for this situation is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the borders between China and two major banana producers: Laos and Myanmar. Both countries have adopted strict measures in response to the pandemic.
The closed border creates a problem for banana deliveries from production areas in these countries. The border at Houqiao port in north Myanmar is particularly difficult to cross. The customs procedures constantly change. Not only do these measures hurt banana suppliers in Myanmar, who suffer financial loss as their products spoil while waiting to cross the border, but these measures also impact the market conditions in China.
The market conditions in Hainan are somewhat better than in other Chinese production areas. The bananas from Hainan have only just entered the market. Supply is abundant and product quality is great. And although market competition is strong, the price is still quite high. Yunnan is another major producer of bananas especially during the winter season. Some of the banana plantations are approaching the end of their season. The product quality is unreliable, sometimes high, sometimes low. The prices are therefore varied, sometimes high, sometimes low. The market is quite chaotic.
Some people in the industry say that the overall supply to the Chinese market is insufficient because the borders with Laos and Myanmar are closed and Yunnan is approaching the end of the season. That is why there is definite room for the price to rise. However, a lot depends on how the banana market recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.