Banana disruptions cause shortages in some areas

02/16/2012 04:55:00 PM
Coral Beach

The shortage could last even longer, according to Bill Sheridan, executive vice president of sales with Banacol Marketing Corp., Coral Gables, Fla.

“Supplies are very tight coming out of Costa Rica and Colombia,” Sheridan said Feb. 16. “Right now it looks like it will continue for another eight to 10 weeks, based on the weather.”

Sheridan said lower than normal temperatures in the last quarter of 2011 slowed production. He said there are usually minor supply issues this time of year, but the weather had greater effect than usual this season.

In Chicago at Panama Banana, president Todd Pappas agreed with Sheridan’s assessment overall. But, Pappas expects demand to flatten out a bit as other fruits begin coming into season. Pappas also said that slightly higher prices because of low supplies will eventually register with consumers and add to the expected decline in demand.

As of Feb. 16 at the Miami terminal market, banana availability was “very light” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Prices for 40-pound cartons of Guatemalan greens were $10-11, which was unchanged from a month ago, and $1-2 less than January 2011. No Guatemalan yellow prices were reported.


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Pete Carcione    
South San Francisco, Ca.  |  February, 17, 2012 at 12:24 PM

It won't be long before the word is out that because of weather related storms that the banana price will be higher. Because of light supplies, the price will be higher. I think that it is a shame that because of contracts the suppliers can not get a justified a higher price when the supply is short. Let supply and demand work! The consumer will knoww why the price is up and it is up for a short period of time. I don't like contracts! The consumer knows the reason for the higher price, and the supplier should not have to loose money. Thank you.

Larry    
New York  |  February, 20, 2012 at 09:24 AM

Pete don't be an idiot. Contracts ALWAYS benefit grower....why do you think they offer them? They are good for certain consumers who only want to pay (and can only pay) a set price all year long (lets say for bid business). Growers make PLENTY of money off contracted prices. When things get tight they are not "losing" money and are making even more off of non-contracted business.

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