According to the Business Mirror, the Philippines Banana Planter and Exporter Association (PBGEA) stated that profits in the banana export market dropped by 15% because the outbreak of Covid-19 increased shipping costs and delayed transport.
Bakani, the head of the PBGEA, explained that the shipping cost increased by 15%-20% this year, and the transport period increased from an average of 25 days to an average of 30-33 days. The main reason for this delay in transport is the spillover effect from back logs in Chinese and Singaporean ports in late 2020. Back logs in one port mean that supply ships miss their rendezvous, which leads to further delays.
The Philippines suffers more from distribution problems in comparison with countries like Vietnam and Cambodia that are closer to the Chinese market. That is why Vietnamese and Cambodian bananas gradually push bananas from the Philippines out of the Chinese market. Last year almost 90% of the Chinese import bananas came from the Philippines, while only 10% came from Vietnam and Cambodia. This year almost 40% of the Chinese import bananas come from Vietnam and Cambodia.
According to Kabani, the decline in volume and value of banana export in the Philippines has people worried. Data shows that banana export declined by 51% in January to a mere 186,000 tons of bananas, while the export value declined by 47% to 85 million USD. Japan is still the largest export market for bananas from the Philippines in terms of export value, but China is the largest market in terms of volume. The income from banana export declined by 20.6% in 2020 to 1.55 billion USD. Bananas are the sixth most important export product in the Philippines.