Many banana production areas in China experienced a cold wave in the last month and their bananas suffered frost damage. That is why the domestic production volume of bananas declined. In some extreme cases the entire harvest was lost. As a consequence of the reduced production volume the price went up. As for import bananas, the price has been high from the beginning of 2021, although the price increase slowed down in February. The price of import bananas is still quite high at the moment, and importers purchase with care. The supply speed is slowing down, but the price remains strong. The supply volume of premium bananas is limited. Their price more than 4 yuan [0.62 USD] per 0.5 kg. That is the highest price in the last six months.
"The main reason for the high price of import bananas is the limited supply volume. The supply volume is lower than in recent years. The volume of premium bananas is particularly small. Second, many Chinese banana plantations suffered from the recent cold wave. The bananas suffered various degrees of frost damage. The production volume declined and so the price went up. The poor market conditions for domestic bananas opened up opportunities for import bananas," said Mr. Hu, a banana importer and retailer.
According to Mr. Hu, "the military coup in Myanmar in early February has caused disruptions in their banana trade. Some of the ports temporarily closed. The banana price immediately shot up. Fortunately the ports quickly opened up again, and the price slowly came down. Other than that, the production volume of bananas from the Philippines also declined in 2020 because of banana blight and drought. Add to this the Covid-19 pandemic, and the market conditions did not look good. That is why China currently imports only small volumes of bananas from the Philippines.
The Covid-19 pandemic temporarily slowed down operations in Dalian port. Many of the bananas destined for Dalian were rerouted to Shanghai, Qingdao, and Tianjin. This situation pushed the cost price up. At the same time, as the price of domestic bananas went up, the price of import bananas increased even further. In previous years if the volume of banana seedlings went up, then market supply exceeded demand, and the price would fall. This year the number of banana seedlings decreased, and so the price of bananas increased.
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Banana importer and retailer
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