PHL loses No. 2 spot for banana exporters

GUATEMALA dislodged the Philippines as the world’s 2nd-largest exporter of bananas previous yr, ending the Asian country’s 4-calendar year reign as it struggled to preserve its share in critical markets amid stiffer level of competition from Latin American producers.

The United Nations’ Meals and Agriculture Business (FAO) approximated that Guatemala exported a whole of 2.467 million metric tons (MMT) of bananas very last year, surpassing the Philippines’s 2.235 MMT.

The FAO stated that banana creation in the Philippines continued to tumble as growers struggled to deal with and suppress the “devastating” unfold of Banana Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race 4 (TR4) sickness.

On top of that, FAO pointed out that Filipino banana growers suffered a double whammy since they also reeled from “high expenses of inputs and fertilizers” final calendar year.

“Both developments are reportedly possessing a particularly detrimental outcome on modest-scale banana producers in the Philippines, who are struggling to procure the important agricultural inputs to fulfill the high quality specifications of export markets,” the worldwide company said in its preliminary worldwide banana market place assessment report posted a short while ago.

“Based on obtainable facts and data, banana shipments from the Philippines are approximated to fall by some 6 percent about the complete year, to [2.235] million tonnes,” it extra. The Philippines exported 2.383 MMT of bananas in 2021, according to the FAO.

The complete believed banana shipments by the Philippines in 2022 was the lowest in six many years or given that 2017 when it exported 2.725 MMT, primarily based on FAO information.

The Philippines reclaimed its spot as the second-premier exporter of bananas in 2018 soon after shipping a whole of 3.125 MMT, according to the FAO.

The FAO noted that the Philippines has dropped substantial market share in its vital places these types of as China. The FAO pointed out that from a industry share of as a lot as 75 per cent, the Philippines now accounts for just 38 p.c of the total bananas imported by China.

“Imports of Filipino bananas, meanwhile, dropped by a documented 8 % more than this period owing to the continuing creation issues knowledgeable in the Philippines,” it mentioned.

Aside from staying overtaken by Guatemala, the Philippines could possibly further slip in the world-wide rankings because of the escalating exports of other Central American banana producers, the FAO report also confirmed.

Last 12 months, the FAO approximated that Colombia, the fourth-biggest exporter, transported an estimated full of 2.125 MMT of bananas, just  100,000 MT reduced than the Philippines’s.

Colombia’s total banana exports have consistently risen in the previous 5 many years as it loved very low tariffs imposed by its husband or wife international locations.

Costa Rica, estimated to have rated fifth previous yr, exported 2.122 MMT of bananas, just some 113,000 MT absent from matching the Philippines’s whole shipments.

The Philippines is also now experiencing sturdy competitiveness from neighboring Asian international locations these kinds of as VietNam and Cambodia, which have been aggressive in increasing their banana generation. (Similar tale:

The Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association earlier advised the BusinessMirror that the Philippines is not just getting rid of sector share in crucial banana markets to Latin American and Asian producers, but investments as well.  (Relevant tale:

FAO described that its full-yr estimates of the worldwide banana market previous 12 months were dependent on the responses of the place to its questionnaire as well as most up-to-date facts readily available until eventually the conclude of Oct final calendar year.

Graphic credits: Ceazar Perante