That dollar amount reflects a year-over-year 33.4% uptick over the $1.128 billion in Filipino sales of international bananas in 2017. Over a five-year timeline, the value of exported Filipino bananas expanded by 32.3% from $1.137 billion in 2014.
The latest metrics show that the Philippines is the world’s second-leading exporter of bananas behind Ecuador. That South American country shipped $3.218 billion worth of bananas in 2018.
Among continents, fellow Asian countries bought $1.497 billion worth of exported Filipino bananas or 99.5% of overall international sales for this commodity. Far behind in second place were Oceania countries at 0.5%, led by New Zealand. Just 0.1% of Filipino bananas were exported to Europe while 0.02% arrived in North America and an even tinier 0.002% went to importers in Africa.
The 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 0803 for fresh or dried bananas and plantains.
Philippines Bananas Exports by Country
Below are the 15 countries that accounted for the highest dollar value worth of bananas exported from the Philippines during 2018.
- Japan: US$562 million (37.3% of Philippines’ bananas exports)
- China: $539.5 million (35.9%)
- South Korea: $203.7 million (13.5%)
- United Arab Emirates: $56.3 million (3.7%)
- Iran: $48.6 million (3.2%)
- Saudi Arabia: $26.3 million (1.7%)
- Hong Kong: $15.4 million (1%)
- Iraq: $11.7 million (0.8%)
- Kuwait: $10.4 million (0.7%)
- Singapore: $7.3 million (0.5%)
- New Zealand: $6.8 million (0.5%)
- Qatar: $5.8 million (0.4%)
- Malaysia: $5.6 million (0.4%)
- Bahrain: $1.9 million (0.1%)
- Oman: $1.3 million (0.1%)
By value, the listed 15 countries purchased 99.8% of bananas exported from the Philippines in 2018.
Among the top importers of Filipino bananas, the fastest-growing bananas consumers since 2014 were: Iraq (up 4,659%), China (up 104.6%), Bahrain (up 74.9%) and South Korea (up 72%).
Over that 5-year period, those countries that slowed their buys of bananas from the Philippines at the severest rate were: New Zealand (down -91.4%), Singapore (down -73%), Kuwait (down -62.4%), Malaysia (down -52.2%) and Hong Kong (down -36.7%).
The Philippines posted the highest positive net exports for bananas during 2018 with the following trade partners. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus that the Philippines earned. In other words, the difference between the value of Filipino bananas exports and its import purchases for that specific commodity.
- Japan: US$562 million (net export surplus up 40.3% since 2014)
- China: $539.5 million (up 104.6%)
- South Korea: $203.7 million (up 72%)
- United Arab Emirates: $56.3 million (up 6.5%)
- Iran: $48.6 million (down -12.7%)
- Saudi Arabia: $26.3 million (down -14.7%)
- Hong Kong: $15.4 million (down -36.7%)
- Iraq: $11.7 million (up 4659.2%)
- Kuwait: $10.4 million (down -62.4%)
- Singapore: $7.3 million (down -73%)
- New Zealand: $6.8 million (down -91.4%)
- Qatar: $5.8 million (up 43.5%)
- Malaysia: $5.6 million (down -52.2%)
- Bahrain: $1.9 million (up 74.9%)
- Oman: $1.3 million (up 24.7%)
Japan, a densely populated and neighboring island, propelled the Philippines to its highest surplus win in the international trade of bananas. This positive cashflow highlights the competitive advantage for this specific product category that the Philippines holds over the above trade partners. Clearly, Japan is the best customer for bananas exported from the southeastern Asian country.
The Philippines experienced no bananas-related deficits with any of its trading partners.
Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of Filipino bananas import purchases and its exports for that same commodity.
This zero-deficit report is not surprising when one considers that the Philippines imported a tiny $22,000 worth of bananas. In fact, the Philippines imported bananas from only one of its trading partners, namely China.
In contrast, 30 countries imported bananas from the Philippines during 2018.