Banana exports down 18.3% in Philippines due to low production

In 2020, banana exports from the Philippines declined by almost a fifth to a two-year low of 3.595 million tons; shipments across all key markets contracted due to weak domestic production. According to preliminary Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) trade data, the total banana exports last year stood 808,000 tons lower (18.35 percent) than the record-high 4.403 million tons of 2019.

PSA data also showed that export receipts from banana shipments in 2020 declined by 20.6 percent to $1.552 billion from $1.953 billion. Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters  Association (PBGEA) attributed the decline in exports to “poor production” caused by the rapid spread of diseases worsened by logistical bottlenecks such as movement restrictions against Covid-19.

“There was a lot of production wastage. The decline in both volume and value were expected despite the demand for fresh fruits, including bananas in foreign markets,” PBGEA Executive Director Stephen A. Antig told the BusinessMirror.

The country’s banana exports to China, mostly supplied by small to medium domestic banana growers, dropped 29 percent from the 2019 numbers, based on PSA data. In November 2020, Antig stated that Japan edged the Chinese market due to the country’s banana quality advantage that Japanese consumers prefer.

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