CHINA: “No alternative to bananas from Philippines”

by Anouk Sijmonsma, Fresh Plaza


“The price of import bananas has been steadily going up in these last weeks. Currently, prices are as high as RMB110.00 (USD 17.01) per carton at the port of Dalian, coming from RMB60.00 (USD 9.28) per carton three months ago. Prices are increasing because both domestic banana production and supply from the Philippines have gone down. Production has been hit hard by poor weather conditions: current supply is only a third of earlier volumes”, according to Martin Lu, responsible for sales at Brilliance.


Brilliance is a major importer of bananas. The company also has a large export branch, which specialises in premium Fuji apples and other variety of apples .


“In China, most bananas that are imported come from the Philippines. The quality is good and transport time is short. The Chinese market is large and demand for bananas is solid. I think the price will continue to rise till the end of April. Towards the end of April, domestic Hainan bananas mature and will arrive on the market. Until now there are not many alternatives to Philippine bananas on the market. Ecuador is also a large banana producing country. However, transport time from Ecuador to China is too long and quality control is very difficult. Bananas from the Philippines pose less risks for the buyer.”


Oppressed apple market
“This season, the apple market is not performing strongly. There are too many apples in stock at suppliers and growers in Shandong , Shanxi, and Gansu provinces. Oversupply is oppressing prices.”


“The European market is a difficult export market for Chinese fresh fruit. There is strong competition from Poland since the boycott with Russia. Asian markets are more promising, including Indonesia, the Philippines , Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Since the Russian economy is performing poorly, demand from Russia is weak. These markets demand different varieties. Europe and America buy premium apples. Asia and Russia buy cheaper, standard varieties. The Indonesian market changed a lot last year. The government is implementing protective market policies, and has been closing boarders to much agricultural and fresh produce. These last two months the Chinese governments has engaged in talks with the Indonesian government to resolve the situation.”


“Fuji apples can be kept in stock until August or September. We try to sell our crop before July, as we believe the quality deteriorates quickly in those later weeks. Hopefully prices bounce back later in the season.”


Source: Fresh Plaza

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