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Banana exports up 111%

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine banana exports rose more than a hundred percent in 2012 despite restrictions set by China because of increased demand from the country’s premium markets, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

In an address during the 83rd anniversary of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) in Manila yesterday, BPI director Clarito Baron said the local banana industry managed to increase shipments of Cavendish bananas to 3.8 million metric tons in 2012 from 1.8 million MT recorded in 2011 because of increased demand from traditional markets and the opening of new export markets.

“There’s a significant increase in volume in major importing countries like Japan and Korea,” Barron told reporters in an interview on sidelines of BPI’s 83rd anniversary celebration in Manila yesterday.

The BPI chief said that the increase in exports of Cavendish bananas to premium markets such as Japan and Korea, with combined exports of more than one million MT, has made up for the loses in the Chinese market.

He said that in 2012, the Philippines was also able to ship to new destinations like Indonesia, Pakistan, Jordan, and other Middle East countries.

Baron noted that restrictions on Philippine banana exports to China are now easing. Chinese quarantine officials have also notified Manila of the improvement in the quality of banana shipments to China.

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“China remained our third biggest market, next to Japan and Korea. But they still play a big role as one of our biggest banana export market,” he said.

For 2013, Barron said banana exports are expected to increase further as the planned exportation of bananas to the United States pushes through by the first quarter of this year.

Because of the destruction caused by Typhoon Pablo to banana crops in Davao region and Campostella Valley in December, the country postponed the maiden shipment of Cavendish bananas to the US to fulfill export obligations to its premium markets.


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