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"Chinese import volume of South American bananas declined by 60% this year"

The weather is slowly heating up and Chinese market demand for domestic bananas is entering its peak period, while the import volume of Southeast Asian bananas declines. Supply and demand are neatly balanced. Despite a slight decline in the price, due to shrinking market demand, the overall price generally remains stable.

Mr. Xia Zuxiang of Shanghai Sofia international Trade Co., Ltd., recently talked about current conditions in the import banana market.

Domestic bananas begin to ripen as summer approaches. The production season in Hainan is already nearly over, but bananas from Guangdong and Guangxi now begin to enter the market in large volumes. The bananas that recently entered the Chinese market are quite alright both in terms of product quality and production volume.

"As for import bananas, the Covid-19 pandemic has a significant impact on global trade. Chinese import of South American bananas declined by nearly 60%. South American bananas are not attractive enough for Chinese consumers. Only a few specific traders still import South American bananas. Southeast Asian bananas dominate the import banana market in China. Many banana plantations in Vietnam and Cambodia are run by Chinese owners. Their entire production volume is destined for the Chinese market. Their prices are quite stable. Some of the plantations in Vietnam and Cambodia expanded the surface area devoted to banana plantation this year. The production volume is estimated to have increased by 20%-30%. Vietnam enters the off-season in July. Their current export volume is less than 100 containers per week. The plantations in Cambodia that are managed by Chinese owners still export around 300-400 containers per week."

Manager Xia also explained: "The large brands in the Philippines have always stood out in terms of production volume and product quality. Their bananas are very popular with Chinese consumers. Bananas from the Philippines have also served as a weather vane for trends in the banana market. The price of bananas from the Philippines recently slightly declined from 9 USD per box of 13.5 kg to 6.5 USD per box. However, the price is expected to rise again in the near future."

When asked about future trends in the next few weeks, manager Xia replied that the overall sales volume of bananas is expected to decline by 20%-30% in the middle of summer. Production areas in Southeast Asia are already past their peak production period. The market conditions in China will depend on the conditions in domestic production areas as well as the Philippines. The relation between supply and demand in these places determines the price of bananas in the Chinese market, but there are other influencing factors as well, and they are more difficult to predict.

"Shanghai Sofia International Trade has always sold green bananas, but the changes in this market are too great. There is a lot of insecurity. In order to reduce the risk and maintain a stable price, we have constructed storage space and integrated, AI processing lines in Nantong, Yangzhou, Suzhou, and Shanghai. We have also opened market stalls in many first- and second-tier cities. This is part of our plan to continue developing our original basis of operations, but also expand into direct sales of yellow bananas. We are working hard to realize an integrated service from production area to end market. While the changes between supply and demand remain huge, we are hoping to maintain a steady import volume and offer high-quality bananas as well as post-sales services while we strive to achieve customer satisfaction."

For more information:

Xia Zuxiang - Member of the board

Shanghai Sofia International Trade Co., Ltd.

Tel.: +86 13601718690 

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