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Ursula Schockemöhle, Product Manager Horticulture at Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft:

"Bananas knocked apples off their throne in 2022, now ranking No. 1"

Bananas are still among the most popular fruits worldwide. As Ursula Schockemöhle, product manager in the horticulture division of Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft stated, the banana in 2022 in Germany was even able to hold its own against the previous leader: "Basically, the boom in demand from the two Corona years is over for bananas, but more bananas are purchased than in 2019. This applies to both conventional and organic fruits. Firmer prices mean sales are higher than last year."

Bananas toppled apples from their throne
"Among the top 10 most purchased fruits in Germany, bananas have knocked apples off their throne in 2022 and are in first place in the ranking. This has not happened for many years and is an exception. Calculated per kilo, bananas are very inexpensive. In addition, consumption of apples has been declining for some time. Possibly even more bananas would have been bought if there had been enough," Schockemöhle notes.

"The import price to the EU market has not been as high as it was in 2022 for a long time, with almost 16 EUR/colli being paid in some weeks. The EU average price in 2022 was around 14 EUR. The last time there was a similarly high price was in 2015, due to higher freight costs and lower production in Latin American growing regions, especially Ecuador. However, due to the long-term contracts with food retailers, mostly annual contracts, the prices could not be passed on. The higher contract for 2023 is only now making itself felt, as the bananas that are more expensive in the initial period are now coming onto the market," the market expert summarizes.

Strongest decline in EU and US for goods from Ecuador
As Schockemöhle informed us last year, a slump in the sales market in Russia and Ukraine was initially expected, as a result of which around 1.8 million tons of bananas from Ecuador alone could not be marketed. This did not materialize in this way. "According to preliminary official data, Ecuadorian banana exports have declined by 12 percent. This is largely due to lower production as a result of unfavorable weather and sharply higher prices for inputs, especially fertilizer, and limited freight capacity."

"The Russian market was relatively unaffected by the decline at -3 percent, as ports were reopened after a short period of time. The majority of bananas for Russia are also not sufficiently certified for the EU market or even the US. In January, however, the situation regarding container prices and capacities seems to have eased again. Except for supplying the spot markets, everything is purchased in advance, including cargo space." She also said she was aware of challenges for ripeners to ripen on time to meet delivery contracts due to repeated delays caused by the Atlantic storms.

Higher prices in promotions
"There are still chains advertising banana prices of 1 EUR/kg, although this is no longer possible considering the cost prices. Still, prices are basically higher than in previous years, even in promotions. Premium goods in standard programs now cost over EUR2/kg." Despite this, demand remains good as bananas are cheaper compared to other fruits. "Trends are difficult to identify at the moment. The current decline is primarily due to economic and political uncertainty for many people. With the simultaneous sensitivity to environmental and climate issues, sustainability and CO2 neutrality etc. also remain an issue."

For more information:
Ursula Schockemöhle
Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft mbH
Dreizehnmorgenweg 10
53175 Bonn
Tel. (0228) 33805-0
Fax (0228) 33805-592

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