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Banana imports are close to record highs, and the market import volume may still continue to increase

In recent years, China's domestic banana planting area has been continuously reduced, and the overall output has shown a downward trend, which has led to a continuous increase in banana imports, resulting in a continuous upward trend in the import dependence of domestic bananas, and further squeezing the market share of domestic bananas.

Banana imports remain high in April
In April 2022, China's banana imports reached 222,100 tons, an increase of 3.07% from March and a year-on-year decrease of 1.87%; the cumulative import from January to April was 742,800 tons, an increase of 10.41% year-on-year, the highest level in the past nine years. The import volume of bananas in April remained at a high level, second only to last year in the past 9 years, reflecting the current situation of strong demand for banana imports in China.

Vietnam becomes China's largest banana import trading partner
After entering April, Vietnam's banana imports still increased, accounting for 42.47%, and it was the largest trading partner for two consecutive months. Followed by Philippine bananas, accounting for 28.30%, and other countries such as Cambodia and Ecuador accounted for 29.23%. Since April and May coincided with the period when a large number of bananas from Vietnam and the Philippines were on the market, a large number of bananas from the two countries arrived in ports, and the advantages of geographical locations led to a significant increase in import volume.

The supply of domestic bananas reduced, and the imported bananas supplement
In recent years, affected by various factors such as Panama disease and land shortages, the domestic banana planting area has been gradually reduced, and the output has also shown a downward trend in general, which has become the main reason for the continuous growth of banana imports. At the same time, the quality advantage of imported bananas also lays the foundation for its rapid expansion of market share.

Next to it, China's banana imports increased from 1,039,100 tons in 2017 to 1,863,500 tons in 2021, with the largest increase of 79.34% and a compound annual growth rate of 12.39%. Therefore, imported bananas make up for the reduction of domestic banana production to a certain extent and fill the domestic market demand.

Banana imports will continue to increase in the coming years
In the short term, in the next two months, the supply capacity of domestic Hainan bananas may be relatively limited due to the slight reduction in the planting area, and imported bananas will still be the main source of supply. In addition, the recent devaluation of the RMB is not conducive to banana imports, but the price of domestic bananas is currently at a high position. It is expected that the import volume of bananas from May to June will continue to show a year-on-year increase. In the next few years, the import volume of bananas in China will continue to increase, mainly due to the following reasons:

First, the area and output of domestic bananas will continue to shrink. Many negative factors such as Panama disease and land policy continue to exist, so the land available for banana cultivation in China will continue to decrease. The production of domestic bananas will continue to tighten simultaneously, releasing more market share for imported bananas.

Second, the quality of local bananas has declined, and the quality of imported bananas has an obvious comparative advantage. In recent years, the quality of domestic bananas has been uneven and unstable. The quality of some banana orchards in Guangxi and Hainan is acceptable, but the quality of banana orchards in most producing areas is average. In response to Panama disease, domestic banana seedlings will gradually turn to virus-resistant seedlings, the taste of the bananas will decline, and the quality gap with imported bananas may widen, which will help imported bananas to occupy more ground in the domestic market in China.

Third, affected by the increase in costs, the price of domestic bananas will gradually increase. In recent years, the price of banana seedlings has continued to rise, and the cost of labor and land rent has also continued to increase. The cost of domestic banana planting is expected to continue to increase. The comprehensive cost will boost the price of bananas produced in China and facilitate the entry of low-priced imported bananas into the country.

Source: ncwxjt


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