In a potential shake-up of global banana export rankings, preliminary findings from the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) indicate that Guatemala may have overtaken the Philippines in 2023. The Philippines, holding the second position for six consecutive years, faces a possible dip in its standing.
According to early data from the FAO, the Philippines experienced a nearly 3 percent decrease in banana exports, dropping to 2.206 million metric tons (MMT) from 2.272 MMT in 2022. This decline opened the door for Guatemala, with an estimated 2.415 MMT in exports, to claim the second spot.
It's crucial to note that these figures are preliminary, relying on data available up to September 2023, country responses to the FAO's 2023 questionnaire, and secondary data obtained through desk research.
The FAO attributes the Philippines' export downturn to the widespread prevalence of Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race 4 disease across its banana plantations. Despite this setback, the Philippines maintains its position as the primary banana exporter in Asia, contributing to approximately 60 percent of the region's total shipments.