Bananas are among the most important crop, being grown in more than 120 countries mainly in the tropics and subtropics. Research of ‘Bioversity International’ shows that about 85% of the production is consumed on the domestic markets while the remaining 15% are distributed for international trade. The 102 million metric tons of bananas produced worldwide in 2012 were worth an estimated US$ 28 billion.
The production of bananas is highly concentrated in Asia, as, according to the data of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) from 2012, the outputs of India, China and the Philippines account for about 45 per cent of the total value. Other leading regions are the Americas – 26.6 per cent followed by Africa – 15.6 per cent.
Up to 1990s the production of bananas was concentrated rather equally among the top 5 producers. Then India`s big potential was revealed as the country increased its output of the fruit four times until 2010. The fluctuations in the quantity of bananas produced in India during the last two decades affect the whole industry worldwide, since the country solely has a big impact on the international market. India`s output grows at a relatively stable rate, resulting in 25 per cent of the total production in 2012.
Since 2000 the production of Ecuador and Brazil has declined leaving the Latin American countries behind China and the Philippines. China now accounts for 10 per cent of the global output, followed closely by the Philippines (9%). Ecuador and the Philippines are the only major exporters from the top five countries.
In 2012 India, China, the Philippines, Ecuador and Brazil accounted for about 49 per cent of the global output, compared to 56 percent in 2000. This is the result of the increasing number of emerging competitors mainly in Africa.
In the past 50 years the quantity of bananas produced has increased more than 4,5 times – from 21 million tons in 1961 to about 106 million tons in 2011. As the graph below suggests, there is a noticeable output decline of five million tons in 2012. Otherwise, the quantity bananas produced grows steadily with little volatility.
Being an agricultural product, bananas are vulnerable to seasonal fluctuations, natural disasters and soil-related diseases. One of the biggest threats to production is Fusarium oxysporum) – a soil fungus which slowly kills crops and is impossible to eliminate from soil. According to panamadiesease.org the latest strain of the fungus has destroyed ten thousands hectares of banana plantations since the beginning of the 1990s.
The global demand for bananas is constantly rising throughout the years. The top five producers have big impact on the international market and account for a big chunk of the total output, despite arising competition