Fom Jan-23 to Oct-23, Peru exported 124.3 thousand metric tons (mt) of fresh Cavendish-type bananas with an export value of USD 94 million, resulting in a 17% decrease in volume and a 10% drop in value, compared to the same period in 2022. The Netherlands is the primary destination for Peruvian bananas, showing a 15% year-on-year (YoY) decrease in volume and a 6% YoY decline in value. Panama is ranked second largest destination, with a significant YoY reduction in volume (46%) and Value (43%). Besides the weak demand from the considerable import countries, the rise in exports from Ecuador is another reason for the decline, particularly to the United States (US) market.
Ecuador's export surge can be attributed to multiple factors, with one of the main reasons being the reduction in sea freight costs that have returned to normal levels after doubling last year. Besides, free trade agreements have made Ecuador's products highly competitive in primary export markets such as China, Belgium, and the United Kingdom (UK).
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the Philippines experienced a significant decline in banana exports in 2023, reaching a six-year low due to the loss of market share to competitors like Ecuador. In addition, the unstable logistics have complicated the delivery of commitments to foreign customers, allowing more bananas from Ecuador to enter Japan. This comes amid existing challenges for Philippine banana growers, including increased production costs and the spread of Fusarium wilt (Panama disease) in plantations.
Banana producers in Paraguay and Bolivia have agreed to resume shipments to Argentina after the outgoing administration authorized the use of foreign currency to pay for those imports. The decision came after Argentine officials met with producers and exporters from the two countries, who had staged several protests outside the Argentine embassies. Paraguayan producers said they were “just waiting for the payments to come in and to normalize the situation as much as possible.” Meanwhile, good bilateral relations between Paraguay and Argentina are expected when President-elect Javier Milei takes office.