COVID-19 will make Chinese hate Philippine bananas
Filipino exporters fear that strict quarantine protocols in China will result in a decline in demand for Cavendish bananas coming from the Philippines.
Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) President Victor S. Mercado, Jr. said in a virtual briefing that the Philippines may lose its biggest banana export market to countries like Vietnam and Cambodia due to the Philippine government’s inability to contain the COVID-19 cases.
Mercado said that aside from the fact that Vietnam and Cambodia is strategically located near China, which bought 73.6 million boxes of Cavendish banana from the Philippines in 2019, these two countries also have fewer COVID-19 cases and the world’s second largest economy happened to just have intensified its quarantine protocols for imports.
As of today, the Philippines has more than 50,000 COVID-19 confirmed cases, while Vietnam has 369 confirmed cases and Cambodia has 141.
Because of this, among many other reasons, PBGEA now expects the country’s banana exports to decline by 20 percent to 165 million boxes this year.
Over the past two years, China emerged one of the top export markets for Cavendish bananas, thanks to the Duterte Administration’s “warm ties” with China, local exporters said.