COTE D’IVOIRE – Cote D’Ivoire placed 340,000 tons of bananas on the international market in 2023 according to FAO’s latest annual report, which presents the preliminary results of the evolution of the world trade in the fruit.

The announced volume shows an increase of 14,000 tons, which is 4% more than the stock shipped during last year (326,000 tons).

In Africa, banana shipments reach between 650,000 and 700,000 tons each year. On the continent, Côte d’Ivoire is the driving force behind the industry, accounting for nearly half of international sales.

It also marks a rebound for the sector, which had also shipped around 340,000 tons of dessert bananas in 2021.

As far as destinations are concerned, the European Union remains the main market, in this case France, which absorbs between 50 and 60% of the volume of shipments each year.

Shipments from Côte d’Ivoire to France increased by about 11% year-on-year from January to August 2023, accompanied by a 13% increase in the average unit value of exports,” the document reads.

It should be noted that the rebound of the Ivorian sector in the export segment contrasts with the decline in the performance of Cameroon, Africa’s second largest exporter of bananas.

Shipments from the Central African country followed a second year of decline, reaching 192,000 tons in 2023, 11% less than the previous year (216,000 tons).

Bananas are a significant crop in Africa, with most of the continent’s exports going to Europe – the UK and France are the region’s largest banana markets.

Cameroon, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire are the top three African banana exporters to the European Union, with other African countries such as Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania also exporting bananas to the EU.

Moreover, according to a global market report published in March 2023, global banana production continues to grow and meet increasing demand, though weather events, pests, and diseases affect supply. 

In 2020, African banana exports declined by 8% from 2019, as some negotiated contracts were put on hold and shipping costs increased.

Ecuador is the largest exporter of bananas, accounting for 26% of global exports. In 2023, Ecuadorian banana exports regained steam, with 3.83 million additional boxes exported to Africa, reaching 17.64 million boxes and a 6% share of overall shipments.

The banana market is expected to reach USD 140.84 billion in 2024 and grow at a CAGR of 0.8% to reach USD 146.56 billion by 2029.

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