From January to August 2022, Peruvian banana exports fell by 16%, amounting to 123,790 tons worth 87 million dollars, following a downward trend that has been recorded since 2019.
In the same period of 2019, Peru exported 222,669 tons of bananas, i.e. 4% less than in the same period of the previous year because the weather conditions affected production. With the start of the pandemic in 2020 and the problems associated with it, banana shipments decreased to 216,663 tons, falling 2.7% compared to 2019.
The situation did not improve in 2021 and there was an increase in supply from competitor countries from other continents, such as Turkey and Vietnam. That year Peruvian exports totalled 214,294 tons, i.e. 1.1% less than in the previous period.
So far in 2022, Peruvian shipments are facing a new drop. The sector is still being affected by the same factors as last year, plus the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The consequences of this war coupled with international inflation have contracted demand significantly. In addition, production is decreasing throughout Latin America due to the increase in production and transport costs.
Transport is the main component in the cost structure of banana exports and, due to the global container crisis, the cost of transport has increased fourfold compared to the pre-pandemic years.
As a result, the production and marketing costs of Peruvian bananas increased from $5.38 per box (18 kilograms) to about $10.3 per box. This means costs have increased by almost 91%.
The Association of Agricultural Producers Guilds of Peru (Agap) had already warned that Peru might stop exporting organic bananas in the short term if profitability continues to fall because this crop had already become a subsistence crop.