The situation is not easy on the banana market. The volumes expected are lower than normal, while all costs are rising. The result is an autumn of high prices. And without a high price level, companies may have to close their doors.
This is in short what Alessandro Dal Bello of the Italian company SIFE thinks about the banana market. "Because of internal problems, fewer bananas are coming from Ecuador. There have been strikes and many companies are struggling. Also from Colombia the quantities are decreasing due to the bad weather. In addition, the low prices have caused many growers to cut costs and consequently there are batches with not too high quality."
"Many importers are therefore turning to Costa Rica and there they have adjusted prices upwards. If we add to this the transportation costs and the strong dollar, it is not difficult to understand that prices will rise even further. In addition, ripening is also becoming more expensive due to higher energy costs."
The situation, therefore, is very complicated. "In wholesale, according to my calculations, a carton of bananas has to be traded for €20.00 to cover all costs. I understand that retail tries to keep prices as low as possible, but either companies manage to cover their costs or they might have to close down."
Bananas are an energy-intensive product. In the cells, they take 4-6 days to ripen, with fans running 24 hours a day and consistently low temperatures. "With the current energy costs, it is not possible to sell bananas at the same price as in previous years," concluded Dal Bello