Banana market in China remains strong

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Monday, December 30, 2013

THE China market remains strong for small and non-contract banana growers and exporters for 2014, an official said Monday.

Ireneo D. Dalayon, Federation of Cooperatives in Mindanao (Fedco) chief-operating-officer, speaking in Monday's edition of Davao Press Club's Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao Annex, said that for 2013 alone the demand of cavendish bananas in China was huge.

"This year is the year of the banana industry unlike 2012 wherein there was a problem with the China market and caused an oversupply of bananas since operations were halted that year. But this year up to the present we have big demands and the price from the China market is really good for us small and non-contract banana farmers," Dalayon said.

They are shipping around 20 to 30 bonds of bananas a week. He said last week, China is giving $6.50/box and a freight-on-board (FOB) of $9 to the small and non-contract farmers.

"The demand for bananas from the Philippines was also caused by the recent Typhoon Haiyan wherein it struck China's banana producing provinces of Hainan and Guangzho," Dalayon said, adding the affected areas were only able to harvest 20 percent of their plantation.

The country's distance to China is also favorable to banana exporters in the region. He said that shipping bananas to the United States and the Middle East will take weeks while shipping to China will take only three to five days.

"We are doing everything we can to give them the best quality of bananas because it is important that we keep this market since it will really benefit a lot of farmers in the region," Dalayon said.

He said China's strict quality control against milibugs and scaled insects helped them boost the local banana's quality that will satisfy the Chinese market. Last year, the infestations of melee bugs and scaled insects were among the reasons why their exportation to the China stopped.

The combined hectarage of cavendish plantations of small and big players is at 70,000 to 80,000 hectares. The banana sector directly and indirectly benefits 400,000 to 500,000 individuals.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 31, 2013.


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