Where are bananas imported from?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “where are bananas imported from?”.

Where are bananas imported from?

Most of the bananas are imported from India. More than 26 million tons of fresh bananas were produced in India in 2009 alone (almost 28 percent of the world’s production). In second place is the Philippines, with a 9.3% share of the market, closely followed by China with 9.2%, Ecuador with 7.8%, and Brazil with 7 percent. 

There are only two major banana exporters: Ecuador and the Philippines. These countries’ domestic market consumes the vast majority of the production. While Asia is the world’s largest producer of bananas, Caribbean Latin America is the world’s largest exporter, accounting for roughly 80% of the world’s exports. 

The retail price of the sector was between $20 billion and $25 billion in 2016, supporting millions of small-scale farmers and plantation workers. More than seventy million people in Africa rely on bananas for income and employment.

Fresh bananas are imported by the United States more than any other country. With an average banana intake of almost 25 pounds per person, the banana economy continues to be overcrowded. Organic banana consumption in the United States, on the other hand, is on the rise. 

There are several banana-producing countries in the US market, as well as several multinational corporations that supply the market. It will be extremely difficult for US producers in Florida and Hawaii to compete with low-cost Cavendish producers. 

Organic and specialty banana varieties should be the focus of any US banana production expansion. This is what Florida growers do.

Banana production on 4.9 m hectares in 2009 was estimated at 97.3 million metric tons (mmt). It was a 49% increase in production from the 65.1 mmt documented in 2000, which was the previous record. 

The total global banana production in 2009, 61% came from India, the Philippines, China, Ecuador, and Brazil’s top five banana-producing nations (as compared to 56% in 2000). Additional production increases were seen in the Philippines and India, as well.

One of the world’s most traded fruits is the banana. As of 2017, banana exports totaled 22.7 million tonnes (excluding plantains), roughly 20% of global production. The trade was worth 11 billion dollars, more than any exported fruit. 

For the year 2017, the top exporting countries were Ecuador ($3 billion in sales), Costa Rica ($1.1 billion in sales), and the Philippines ($1 billion in sales), all of which were geographically dispersed.  Top importers included Russia (USD 1.4 billion), Belgium (USD 2.5 billion), and the U.s (USD 2.5 billion) (USD 1.1 billion).

Bananas are currently only produced in small quantities in the USA. In Florida, banana production is estimated at 500 acres, with a market value of $2 million. To satisfy niche markets, such as the market for processed and organic bananas, there has been a recent resurgence in interest in growing US banana production.

What is the Bananas’ production in the US?

US banana production is minimal; In 2009, the United States’ overall banana production reached nearly 7,000 mmt, or 0.01 percent of total global supply, on an approximate 16,000 acres in the United States (USDA 2009). Banana production in the U.s is dominated by Hawaii, with Florida a distant second. 

Hawaiian banana production fell from 13,181 metric tons in 2000 to 8,090 metric tons in 2010. Hawaii produces the Cavendish and Hawaiian apple bananas, which are sold locally due to high land and labor costs. 

Florida is the largest exporter of bananas from the United States, primarily Thai. To further diversify their product lines, banana producers in the United States are looking to the organic and specialized segments for growth.

Who are the main exporters of fresh bananas by FAO?

Banana exports worldwide in 2009 were estimated by the FAO at 14.8 mmt, or 15.3 percent of global production, and were worth $8.08 billion. Five countries in the world exported the most bananas in 2009: Ecuador, Colombia; Philippines; Costa Rica; and Guatemala. 

Over 84% of the world’s banana exports went to these two countries in 2009. 5.7 mmt of bananas were exported from Ecuador in 2009, accounting for thirty-eight percent of the world’s total banana volume traded that year. 

At 13.2 percent market share, Colombia is in second place, preceded by the Philippines (11.7 percent), the Costa Ricans (11.5), and Guatemala (9.9 percent ).In terms of fresh fruit, bananas take second place. 

83.2 percent of the world’s gross fresh banana exports came from Latin America in 2009, preceded by the Far East at 12.8, Africa (3.4 percent), and the Caribbean (0.4 percent).

What is the international market for fresh bananas?

Only a small number of multinational corporations (MNCs) are involved in the purchase, transportation, and marketing of fresh bananas around the world. 

Plantations, shipping, ripening facilities, and distribution networks are all owned or contracted by these companies, giving them a significant advantage in the sale of bananas due to scale and market power.

Chiquita Brands International, Dole Food Company, and Del Monte Fresh Produce are the three biggest producers and marketing companies of fresh bananas in the world. Banana plantations owned by each of these companies can be found throughout the world’s banana-producing regions.


In this brief article, we have answered the question “where are bananas imported from?”. We have also discussed the main exporters of fresh bananas as well as the international market.




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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.