Guatemala dislodged the Philippines as the world’s second-largest exporter of bananas last year, ending the Asian country’s four-year reign as it struggled to keep its share in key markets amid stiffer competition from Latin American producers. According to recent data from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, Guatemala exported a total of 2.467 million tons (MT) of bananas last year, surpassing the Philippines’s 2.235 MT.
The FAO explained that banana production in the Philippines continued to fall as growers struggled to address and curb the “devastating” spread of Banana Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race 4 (TR4) disease. Furthermore, FAO pointed out that Filipino banana growers suffered a double whammy since they also reeled from “high costs of inputs and fertilizers” last year.
“Based on available data and information, banana shipments from the Philippines are estimated to fall by some 6 percent over the full year, to [2.235] million tons,” it added. The Philippines exported 2.383 MT of bananas in 2021, according to the FAO.