Banana Imports are Looking Strong Heading into Spring

Banana Imports are Looking Strong Heading into Spring

Banana imports from South America are expected to remain steady as South America has had good weather, helping to offset cooler temperatures that have slowed Mexican banana shipments.

Oke USA Fruit Co. of West Bridgewater, MA reports good supplies with steady volume.

Earl’s Organic Produce of San Francisco notes cool temperature has affected production along the central west coast of Mexico, slowing growth and lowering yields. However, warmer weather is not improving the situation.

Organics Unlimited Inc. of San Diego points out Mexican banana production typically slows during the winter. Yet the cooler than normal temperatures in Colima resulted in harvest delays. Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica have experienced similar problems.

Dole Food Co. of Westlake Village, CA sees good volume for all of 2020, point out it has an exceptional worldwide shipping and logistics system allowing it to provide bananas the year around. While one region may have adverse weather, another is usually in good shape since it harvest bananas throughout Latin America, including Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras and Ecuador.

As examples, Dole point to its organic banana production in Ecuador and Peru where volume has been steady.

Ports of the Delaware river (Wilmington, Philadelphia and Chester) are called instead of New York where the banana trade used to take place. In the 1980s, Chiquita and Dole relocated their facilities to Wilmington, which created a significant cluster of refrigerated import activities with specialized terminals, on-dock and inland refrigerated warehouses, and labor trained to handle these types of goods.

A similar pattern applies on the West Coast where Hueneme and San Diego are used instead of Los Angeles and on the Gulf Coast with Gulfport, the dominant facility of the range that replaced New Orleans when United Fruits relocated its facilities.