The collapse in global banana prices has opened the door for Latin American producers to sell their product in the Philippines, where demand remains strong.
Stephen A. Antig, executive director of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association, Inc., said the Philippine market is now a battleground for Latin American growers, who are facing oversupply in their home markets.
The Philippine market has grown in importance due to weak international demand, Antig said, noting that volume exported by association members fell 12.4% year on year in September. Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, he said fresh banana exports fell 14.04% by value in the nine months to September.
He noted that a formerly reliable market like China, the biggest buyer of Philippine bananas, is starting to balance out its purchases by tapping producers in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar as part of a broader geopolitical strategy.