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Philippine banana export to UAE jumped 87%

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Staff writer ▼ | April 16, 2014
Philippine bananaBanana exports to the UAE from the Philippines jumped 87 per cent in 2013 despite major supply disruptions caused by a string of tropical storms that battered the archipelago.

The far-east Asian country shipped $79 million worth bananas to the UAE in 2013, from $42.2 million in 2012, according to a senior trade official.

"This is a very encouraging trend," said Paisal Abdullah, Philippine Commercial Counsellor for the Middle East and Africa, who is based in Dubai. The figures only represent banana exports to the UAE and exclude other Gulf markets such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, he said.

"The Middle East is a huge market for our bananas and has the capacity to absorb far more Philippine exports... but there's also certain supply-side factors," said Mr. Abdullah, who was earlier posted as Philippine trade attaché in Jeddah.

Meanwhile, global demand for Philippine bananas has also been on the rise, with importers in neighbouring Asian countries such as Japan and China paying between $7 to $10 per box.

In 2012, UAE exports to the Philippines amounted to $1.9 billion out of a total bilateral trade of $2.1 billion.

"We have a chronic history of trade imbalance in favour of the UAE, due to the high crude oil imports of the Philippines. But we’re narrowing the gap," said Mr. Abdullah.

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