Chinese banana imports from Cambodia have rapidly increased in the last few weeks. Imported bananas are crowding domestic bananas out of the market, which puts pressure on the domestic banana price. Cambodian bananas also put pressure on the price of other imported bananas, with importers of bananas from the Philippines suffering financial losses. Mr. Xia Zuxiang, board member of Shanghai Sofia International Trade Co., Ltd., recently talked about current conditions in the banana import market.
“While Cambodian bananas are doing well in the market, the banana traders from Myanmar suffered financial loss. The main reason is a difference in transport methods. Bananas from Myanmar usually reach China overland, but the outbreak of Covid-19 disrupted this trade. Bananas from Cambodia and Vietnam usually enter China via sea ports. Sea freight has not experienced the same kind of obstacles as overland transport.”
According to Mr. Xia, “banana plantations in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar are often managed by Chinese traders. That is why the majority of their banana production volume is sold in China. Furthermore, because these connections are so strong, these bananas are not easily sold in other markets even when the Chinese market is flooded. The banana trade with the Philippines or South America is more lively and agile, because fewer banana plantations are owned by Chinese traders.
Imported bananas are usually purchased from local farmers. Our company, for example, imports bananas from our own plantations in the Philippines (20%) as well as local banana farmers (80%). During the outbreak of Covid-19, we were able to negotiate with suppliers and reduce the import volume when the market was weak. That is why the import price is more prone to fluctuation. As for exporters in the Philippines, they have a wide variety of export destinations in Asia. They can easily divert export from China to Korea or Japan, or other Asian markets.”
When asked about consumer preferences for import bananas, manager Xia replied, “There are many countries with permission to export bananas to the Chinese market, but Chinese consumers do not understand the differences between various banana varieties very well. They do not purchase bananas based on the country of origin. They select bananas based on the import brand. Importers with well-known brands in the domestic market sell more bananas.”
Shanghai Sofia International Trade is specialized in banana imports and trade. The company owns banana plantations in the Philippines and Vietnam. The company was distinguished as the best fruit import brand of 2020 during the 2020 China Fruit Brand Summit.
For more information:
Mr. Xia Zuxiang – Board member
Shanghai Sofia International Trade Co., Ltd.
Tel.: +86 13601718690