Bananas, pineapples, guavas and mangoes are the top fruits exported from the Philippines. The top 10 fruits imported into the Philippines tell a different story about Filipino tastes in fresh, dried or frozen fruits.
Fresh apples represent 46.9% of the overall value of Filipino-imported fruits during 2016 valued at a total US$326.8 million. Fresh grapes may have been a distant second at 15.2%, but combined with apples, those two types of fruit represent over three-fifths (62.1%) of the Philippines’ overall purchases of fruits on global markets.
Eight of the top 10 imports include fresh fruits, and as such are perishables with limited shelf-lives. China supplies 95% of imported apples, with 3.9% originating from faraway United States and less than 1% coming from apple growers in New Zealand. On the other hand, the United States provides almost two-thirds (64.7%) of fresh grapes imported into the Philippines. That metric is well ahead of the 23.4% for Australia, 11% for Chile and just 0.7% for New Zealand and 0.1% for Argentina and China respectively.
Including fresh, dried or frozen products, the overall value for all categories of Filipino imported fruits rose by 59.4% from 2012 to 2016.
Top 10 Imported Fruits Loved in the Philippines
Below are the 10 major types of fruits that the Philippines bought from international traders during 2016, sorted by dollar value in ascending order. Shown with parenthesis is the percentage change in value bench-marked against imported amounts in 2012.
- Fresh apples: US$153.3 million (up 100.7% from 2012 to 2016)
- Fresh grapes: $49.8 million (up 163.3%)
- Fresh/dried mandarins, tangerines, clementines: $45.5 million (down -13.6%)
- Fresh pears: $22.7 million (up 127%)
- Fresh/dried oranges: $13.8 million (down -20.9%)
- Dried grapes including raisins: $7.1 million (up 18.1%)
- Fresh/dried lemons: $3.9 million (up 776.8%)
- Fresh kiwifruit: $2.2 million (up 62.1%)
- Dried peaches, pears, papayas: $1.5 million (down -5.5%)
- Fresh lychees: $1.2 million (up 31.6%)
Among the top 10 categories, the value of imported lemons grew at the fastest-pace over the 5-year period. This brings us to another interesting trend.
Fastest-growing Filipino Fruit Imports
Fresh fruits made a strong comeback in 2016 overtaking the growth of frozen fruits, albeit dried fruits continue to make progress among Filipino consumers.
- Fresh berries: Up 16,300% since 2012 ($164,000 in 2016)
- Fresh/dried lemons: Up 776.8% ($3.9 million)
- Fresh peaches (including nectarines): Up 459.3% ($30,000)
- Fresh grapes: Up 163.3% ($49.8 million)
- Fresh plums: Up 143.8% ($273,000)
- Fresh/dried grapefruit: Up 130.8% ($277,000)
- Fresh pears: Up 127% ($22.7 million)
- Fresh/dried guavas and mangoes: Up 124.5% ($961,000)
- Dried prunes: Up 110.2% ($349,000)
- Fresh/dried dates: Up 107% ($147,000)
Nevertheless, the emerging trend appears to indicate improving popularity for imported fresh fruits in the Philippines.
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Agriculture – Products, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on July 22, 2017
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 22, 2017
Wikipedia, List of largest producing countries of agricultural commodities. Accessed on July 22, 2017