Philippines losing ground in Asian banana market
The Philippines has seen its share of Asian banana imports drop from 90% to 60%, according to a report by the FAO, which cites production challenges and increased competition as the main reasons.
“In previous years, some 90 percent of Asian banana exports originated in the Philippines, which ranks as the second leading global banana exporter behind Ecuador, but this share fell to some 60 percent in 2021,” said the report.
Covid-19 and the spread of Panama disease were two of the leading factors behind the rapid decline of the Philippines’ banana exports. Increasing costs and weather damage have also contributed. This reportedly had a particularly detrimental effect on small scale banana producers in the country, who struggled to procure the necessary agricultural inputs to meet the quality requirements of export markets. Importers from China and Japan, the two major destinations for bananas from the Philippines, reportedly reduced their orders from smaller producers substantially due to quality concerns.
Other Asian exporters such as Vietnam, Cambodia and India have capitalised on the opening increasing their shipments. The growth of these exporters comes on the back of growing investment.
“All three registered double-digit growth in exports in 2021, shipping some 300,000 to 350,000 tonnes each,” said the report.