THE selling price of banana in the world market has dropped to as low as $3 per box in recent weeks, an official of the The Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporter Association (PBGEA) said.
"Right now the price in the world market is very bad because there is an excess supply," said Stephen Antig, PBGEA executive director in an interview with SunStar Davao Friday, June 30.
At present, Atig said the selling price of banana per box has gone down to around $3 but can even go lower to around $1.60 per box or around P80.
He pointed out that the selling price of Philippine banana per box used to average at $7 per box and can go as high as around $14 per box. Per box has a weight of 13 kilograms.
Antig said PBGEA members have already expressed their concerns on the current state of the market.
However, Antig pointed out that the hardest hit would be the small banana growers and exporters.
"Their major is China, where the volume being exported there has gone down by 33 percent. They are also buying from other banana producing countries," he said. Data from the organization showed that member exports decreased to 29,590 metric tons from January to April this year as compared to 44,379 MT in the same period last year.
He said China has started to produce its own bananas. Most of the Asean neighbors like Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia are also starting to plant bananas and expanding their plantations too.
"If their bananas will be sold to our traditional markets, what will happen is there will be a glut in the world market...prices will definitely drop," Antig said, adding that with a glut in the world market, a lot of banana growers may not survive.
"The situation is bad and I hope it is not going to get worse," he said.
However, Antig also pointed out that they cannot fully determine if this year is much worse than the previous years in terms of the selling price of banana in the world market as they have to wait by the end of the year to get the full scope of the market's performance.