India and China Remain the Largest Banana Markets in the World

Tropical And Subtropical Fruits May 08, 2018
Author: Sergey Avramenko
Head of Global Markets Research Team

IndexBox has just published a new report "World: Bananas - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025". Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The Global Banana Consumption Resumed Its Growth

The global banana consumption stood at $52.4B in 2016, which was 15% more than the year before. This figure reflects total revenue of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). 

The value of global banana market as a whole was characterised by an upward trend over the period from 2007 to 2016. However, the trend pattern was not consistant: while from 2007 to 2012, the world banana market was growing steadily, this growth was followed by a decline in market volume over the next three years. In 2016, the market recovered, reaching its highest level in value terms.

In physical terms, the global banana consumption grew by +2.2% per year, amounting to 114M tonnes in 2016. From 2011 to 2016 banana market fluctuating mildly, after the period of steady growth. Given the stability of consumption volumes in physical terms, fluctuations in market value could be explained by price changes.

In the Medium Term, the Global Banana Market is Set to Continue Moderate Growth

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the world. They are not only consumed raw, but are also used in making juices, sauces, baked goods and various dishes.

In India, which accounts for a quarter of bananas consumed worldwide, the upward trend in consumption is expected to continue, due to the population growth and large volumes of domestically grown bananas available, which fully satisfy the market demand. In other major Asian markets, China and Indonesia, consumption is also expected to increase with continuing population growth.

Average per capita consumption in Asia, however, is inferior to that in the African countries, where bananas are a staple food. African countries, namely Angola, Tanzania, Rwanda stood amongst the leaders in terms of per capita consumption.

As for the developed countries, in the U.S. and Europe bananas are considered a quick healthy snack, convenient in a fast-paced life. Low per capita consumption in the U.S. suggests opportunities for its further growth against the backdrop of population and income growth.

In the medium term, the global banana market is set to continue moderate growth. The expected population growth will drive the consumption of bananas in the world. In the medium term, the increase in banana consumption is projected to average +2.0% annually from 2017 to 2025. By 2025, the market volume is expected to reach 136M tonnes.

India and China Remain the Largest Banana Markets in the World

In 2016, India (25%), China (13%), Indonesia (6%), Brazil (6%), Philippines (4%), the U.S. (4%), Angola (3%), Tanzania (3%), and Rwanda (3%) were the largest banana markets in the world, based on physical terms. The above countries together account for about 67% of the world consumption of bananas. In addition, most of these countries, except for the U.S., were also the leading producers of bananas in the world.

Amongst these countries, Angola (+11.9%) and China (+6.1%) had the highest annual growth rates of bananas consumption over the period under review.

India and China constitute the largest banana markets, however, these countries had the lowest volume of per capita consumption: 29 kg/per person and 10 kg/per person, respectively. At the same time, African countries, Rwanda (252 kg/year), Angola (154 kg/year), Tanzania (67 kg/year), remain leaders in per capita consumption, which is explained by the relatively small population and the fact that bananas are a traditional local fruit, which, combined with a lower standard of living compared to developed countries, determines the significant role of bananas in people's diets.

Global Banana Production Posted Moderate Gains

Production of banana stood at $48.8B in 2016, which was $7.3B (or 18%) more than in 2015. In general, the production of bananas in value terms has had an upward trend since the beginning of the period up to 2013, when it started to decline as a result of lower producer prices. It was only in 2016 when production recovered and reached its new peak.

In physical terms, banana production stood at 113.3M tonnes, which was 2% less than year before. However, overall, the global banana production grew by +2.0% over the period under review.

In 2016, harvested area of bananas amounted to 5.5M ha, with minor fluctuations from 2007 to 2016. Banana yield grew gradually from 18.7 tonne/ha in 2007 to 20.6 tonne/ha in 2016.

All Key Banana Producers Increased Their Production Volume

In 2016, India (26%), China (12%), Indonesia (6%), Brazil (6%), Ecuador (6%), Philippines (5%), Angola (3%), Guatemala (3%), Tanzania (3%), and Rwanda (3%), were the largest and main banana producing countries, together making up 73% of total output.

Angola (+11.9%), China (+5.8%), and Guatemala (+5.7%) had the highest growth rate in banana production among leading producing countries.

However, among the main producers, the largest harvested areas were in India (15%), Brazil (9%), Tanzania (9%), Philippines (8%), China (8%), and Rwanda (8%), together accounting for 54% of harvested area in the world. 

The largest yield had Indonesia (50.1 tonne/ha), Guatemala (48.3 tonne/ha), Ecuador (36.2 tonne/ha), India (34.4 tonne/ha), China (31.0 tonne/ha) and Angola (29.3 tonne/ha).

Approx. 18% of Bananas Consumed Worldwide Are Imported

Bananas will continue to be highly traded, fueled by increasing consumption, trade liberalisation policies, and intense global and regional integration. High trade intensity is determined mainly by the substantial distances between the main countries of banana production and key consuming countries, which is especially characteristic for the European countries and the U.S. In the period from 2007 to 2016, the share of imports in consumption remained relatively stable at the level of 17-19%.

Ecuador Leads Global Banana Exports

In 2016, the volume of global exports totalled 21.2M tonnes, increasing gradually by on average +1.7% per year from 2007-2016; however, some noticeable fluctuations occurred in certain years. In value terms, it amounted to $10.4B in 2016; the trend pattern generally mirrored that of the volume of imports, but the growth was even more pronounced due to an increase in prices.

Ecuador ranks first in terms of global banana exports with a share of 29% of the total exports (in physical terms). In 2016, Ecuador exported 6,176K tonnes of bananas, which accounted for 95% of its total banana output. Of this amount, 22% was supplied to Russia, where bananas from Ecuador dominated local consumption. Besides Ecuador, the largest global suppliers in 2016, all lagging somewhat behind in terms of the volume of exports, were Guatemala (2,478K tonnes), Costa Rica (2,370K tonnes), Colombia (1,961K tonnes) and the Philippines (1,397K tonnes); together they comprised another 39% of global exports. Guatemala was the fastest growing supplier from 2007 to 2016, with the volume of exports expanding at an average annual rate of +5.5% per year from 2007-2016. 

Despite being the largest global producers of bananas, India and China did not export much of their production, meaning that it was consumed domestically. Another country with large banana exports was Belgium (1,144K tonnes in 2016), but taken into consideration the fact that Belgium doesn’t grow any bananas, and the imports volumes were also high, banana shipments from Belgium should be considered re-exports.

The U.S. Remained the Major Importer of Bananas

The volume of global imports totalled 21.9M tonnes in 2016, which equated to $14.1B. A trend pattern of imports generally mirrored that of exports: these trade flows globally complement each other. 

In 2016, the U.S. (4,952K tonnes), Germany (1,381K tonnes), Russia (1,356K tonnes), Belgium (1,315K tonnes), the UK (1,212K tonnes), Japan (957K tonnes) and China (887K tonnes) constituted the leading destinations of banana imports, together comprising 55% of global imports. Amongst the major importing countries, China, (+11.5% per year) and Russia (+3.7% per year) gained the highest annual growth rates from 2007 to 2016. While the share of China increased slightly from 2% in 2007 to 4% in 2016, the share of Germany and the U.S., both contracted by the same -2 percentage points. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

Do you want to know more about global banana market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • banana market share
  • banana prices
  • banana industry
  • banana sales
  • banana import
  • banana export
  • banana market forecast
  • banana price forecast
  • key banana producers

Source: World: Bananas - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025