W24: Banana Update

Published Jun 21, 2023
W24: Banana Update

In W24 in the banana landscape, it was reported that Ecuador's exports have decreased by 9% from January to April 2023, primarily due to a decline in oil exports. Despite the overall decrease, banana exports from Ecuador have increased by 14% in the period mentioned. Also, Colombian banana exports have also increased, primarily to Europe. Belgium is one of the top export countries for Colombian bananas. Italy, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands are also important destinations for Colombian products, primarily bananas, coffee, avocados, green plantains, and lemons. In addition, Argentina's Campo Operations Center (COC) is examining bananas from Ecuador and Colombia to ensure compliance with phytosanitary standards. This new addition strengthens Senasa's role in regional and international agricultural health. The province of Mendoza has issued over 3.7 thousand import certificates for these bananas since June 2022.

The Chinese General Administration of Customs (GAC) has approved the import of bananas from Honduras starting June 13. This move is expected to boost bilateral trade between China and Honduras, following the establishment of diplomatic relations earlier this year. Also, Thai fresh bananas and their processed products are expected to generate significant revenue from exports to Japan, benefiting from the popularity of Thai bananas in the Japanese market. Thailand can leverage the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement to expand banana exports by enjoying tariff exemptions on a certain volume. Thailand aims to increase exports further by enhancing productivity and supporting farmers. Uganda also plans to export banana products to Europe, aiming to double its exports to USD 12 billion (UGX 222 trillion). The country is targeting the Serbian market and promoting value-added banana products to enhance its international presence and boost its export industry. Also, the efficiency of banana trade in Uzbekistan has improved, leading to a reduction in banana prices compared to other countries, including Georgia and Moldova. The elimination of import duties on fruits not grown in Uzbekistan and the convenience of bananas for supermarket chains have contributed to the lower prices. However, banana imports in 2023 have declined by 27% in the first four months due to relatively high prices. Currently, the majority of banana imports to Uzbekistan come from Ecuador.

Unseasonal rains in Mahanandi county, India, have caused significant damage to banana crops. Thousands of acres have been affected, resulting in an estimated loss of around USD 1.8 million (INR 150 million). Farmers are requesting government compensation to recover from the financial distress caused by the damage. In addition, Bangladesh is partnering with agribusinesses and farmer-based organizations to provide safe and branded bananas. Innovations in the supply chain, supported by USAID, include fruit bags, pathogen-free plantlets, safe ripening, and contract farming. The initiative aims to transform the high-end market, empower farmers, and promote safety. Climate-smart farming practices and technology will play a key role in its success. Lastly, the Government of the Canary Islands, Spain, has paid around USD 76.7 million (EUR 70 million) to banana producers as part of the 'Assistance to IGP Banana Producers' program. This payment, financed by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund, benefits 7.5 thousand applicants through six producer organizations. The aid includes provisions for those affected by the volcanic eruption in La Palma and includes a 10% supplement for young farmers. It aims to support the banana sector and provide economic relief.

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