PHL loses No. 2 spot for banana exporters

GUATEMALA dislodged the Philippines as the world’s next-most significant exporter of bananas previous yr, ending the Asian country’s four-year reign as it struggled to maintain its share in key markets amid stiffer competition from Latin American producers.

The United Nations’ Foodstuff and Agriculture Firm (FAO) approximated that Guatemala exported a complete of 2.467 million metric tons (MMT) of bananas final year, surpassing the Philippines’s 2.235 MMT.

The FAO explained that banana output in the Philippines continued to drop as growers struggled to address and suppress the “devastating” distribute of Banana Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race 4 (TR4) illness.

Also, FAO pointed out that Filipino banana growers endured a double whammy since they also reeled from “high charges of inputs and fertilizers” very last yr.

“Both developments are reportedly obtaining a specifically detrimental influence on modest-scale banana producers in the Philippines, who are struggling to procure the needed agricultural inputs to meet the good quality requirements of export marketplaces,” the global company mentioned in its preliminary world wide banana sector overview report printed lately.

“Based on readily available data and data, banana shipments from the Philippines are approximated to slide by some 6 p.c around the complete year, to [2.235] million tonnes,” it additional. The Philippines exported 2.383 MMT of bananas in 2021, in accordance to the FAO.

The complete approximated banana shipments by the Philippines in 2022 was the most affordable in 6 decades or since 2017 when it exported 2.725 MMT, based mostly on FAO details.

The Philippines reclaimed its place as the 2nd-largest exporter of bananas in 2018 after shipping and delivery a total of 3.125 MMT, according to the FAO.

The FAO claimed that the Philippines has missing considerable market share in its critical locations such as China. The FAO pointed out that from a marketplace share of as considerably as 75 per cent, the Philippines now accounts for just 38 % of the overall bananas imported by China.

“Imports of Filipino bananas, meanwhile, dropped by a described 8 p.c more than this time period thanks to the continuing production challenges skilled in the Philippines,” it mentioned.

Apart from remaining overtaken by Guatemala, the Philippines may well further more slip in the world rankings due to the fact of the rising exports of other Central American banana producers, the FAO report also confirmed.

Previous yr, the FAO estimated that Colombia, the fourth-premier exporter, transported an believed complete of 2.125 MMT of bananas, just  100,000 MT reduced than the Philippines’s.

Colombia’s total banana exports have regularly risen in the past 5 yrs as it enjoyed small tariffs imposed by its spouse nations.

Costa Rica, estimated to have rated fifth final 12 months, exported 2.122 MMT of bananas, just some 113,000 MT away from matching the Philippines’s full shipments.

The Philippines is also now facing robust opposition from neighboring Asian nations around the world such as VietNam and Cambodia, which have been aggressive in expanding their banana generation. (Connected story:

The Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Affiliation earlier informed the BusinessMirror that the Philippines is not just losing market share in crucial banana markets to Latin American and Asian producers, but investments as properly.  (Relevant story:

FAO defined that its complete-yr estimates of the worldwide banana market past yr ended up based on the responses of the country to its questionnaire as effectively as newest knowledge out there right up until the conclusion of October last 12 months.

Graphic credits: Ceazar Perante