The Philippines’ first shipment of bananas to the US market has been called off this week as exporters aim their remaining volumes at core markets in the wake of Typhoon Bopha.
The Philippine banana industry, specifically Dole Phillipines, was set to make its first 3,000 tonne shipment to the US this December after recently gaining access, but speaking to local media yesterday Philippine agriculture secretary Proceso J Alcala said shippers needed to focus on established markets.
“Growers and exporters are already feeling the pressure,” said Alcala. “They said they have to prioritise earlier commitments. The US market will have to wait.
“It’s more practical to delay `these shipments` because we have to meet our commitment to other countries first.”
The first shipment is expected to be delayed until late next year when volumes have sufficiently recovered.
The damage to the Philippine banana crop from Typhoon Bopha, known locally as Pablo, is currently being estimated at 154,446 tonnes worth P7.43bn (US$181.31m), reported the Philippine Star.