Philippines banana inspection

Typhoon Yolanda has been the unlikely catalyst for a surge in Philippine banana exports to China, according to Ireneo Dalayon, executive officer and president of the Federation of Cooperatives in Mindanao.

While the Philippine banana industry continues to recover from the impacts of the natural disaster, which hit Mindanao in early November 2013, Dalayon said production in China had also been curtailed.

Dalayon told the Minda News close to 300,000ha of China’s banana crop had been affected by Yolanda, with the bulk of the damage in the key growing regions of Hainan and Guangzhou. There was also extensive damage to production in Taiwan.

Consequently, Dalayon said Philippine banana exporters are seeing a rise in demand and market prices for their product, with shipments to China rising to around 30 bonds per week.

He believed proximity was also making China an increasingly appealing market for Philippine exports.

“Unlike shipping to the United States or the Middle East, products can get to China in as short as three to five days,” Dalayon told the Minda News. “The Japanese market will always be there, but at the moment China has a better price.”