Typhoon ‘Pablo’ cuts Mindanao’s banana exports

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/19 December) – Typhoon Pablo (international name Bopha) has significantly reduced Mindanao’s banana exports from January to August this year, data from the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association, Inc. (PBGEA) showed.

Based on the group’s shipment report, exports by member-companies dropped by 231,743 metric tons (MT) to 882,148 MT from January to August 2013 from 1.114 million MT for the same period last year.

PBGEA, which groups 31 companies, ships fresh banana products to Japan, Middle East, Korea, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Russia, United States, Malaysia, Egypt, Indonesia, Thailand, Mongolia and Canada.

For this year, Japan was the largest banana market with 66,464 MT shipped there in May alone, valued at P493 million.

Only six and seven MT were shipped to Canada and the United States during the period, respectively.

Data from the Plant Quarantine Service also showed that Japan remains to be the most significant export market for Mindanao bananas in terms of volume and value.

Last December, Typhoon Pablo devastated the banana-producing provinces of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

The typhoon’s damage was estimated at around P37 billion, with P26 billion sustained by the agriculture sector, data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council dated December 25, 2012 showed.

In Compostela Valley, Governor Arturo Uy had pegged the recovery rate of the banana industry at 70 percent of the damage it sustained.

But Uy said that the province would need at least three more years to fully recover in terms of agriculture, infrastructure and shelter.

The Land Bank of the Philippines had extended assistance of around P800 million for banana growers in the province. (MindaNews)