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South African market feels effects of flooded banana fields in Mozambique

Banana availability in South Africa has tightened as a result of the flooding in the southern parts of Mozambique last month.

Up to 75% of the bananas sold at Gauteng’s municipal markets come from Mozambique and Eswatini. 

The destruction wrought by the inexhaustible cyclone Freddy was concentrated in the northern provinces of Sofala and Zambezia, as well as Malawi.

However extensive flooding three to four weeks ago in Maputo Province, southern Mozambique, and around Komatipoort in northeastern South Africa, brought significantly damaged banana plantations and infrastructure such as pump houses, pumps and residences.

There are reportedly many banana fields in Maputo Province that were inundated for prolonged periods which will have to be re-established.

Trucks carrying bananas to South Africa currently move through Eswatini as bridges and roads were washed away. 

At the Johannesburg municipal market banana stocks are between 30,000 and 40,000 18kg cartons, and the usual February spike in volumes after the quiet December period didn’t materialize this year.

Consequently prices are R40 to R50 higher than a month ago, a banana trader says.

First grade bananas sell for R170 (8.7 euros) to R250 (12.8 euros) per 18kg carton, while extra large selected bananas currently go up to R260 (13.33 euros) for an 18kg box.

Second grade bananas sell for R150 to R200 per box.

“The flooding in Mozambique and in the Komati region has had a palpable impact on banana volumes. The damage that Mozambique and its people has suffered is tragic,” remarks a trader.

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