Market Overview – week 20 2023


Banana selling prices in St Petersburg were around USD 15.25 down from USD 16.80 per box CIF according to brand, quality, and volume. Prices dropped rapidly because of large volumes of yellow bananas and other quality problems with the fruit at the port. Consequently, demand was almost absent. According to local traders, there were cases where the percentage of yellow fruit was up to 50% of the fruit received. One of the major shipping lines involved in the transportation of bananas from Ecuador to St. Petersburg declined any responsibility for the arrival of the bananas in poor conditions blaming the inherent vice of the fruit before being loaded at its origin. Problems at discharge started in April, according to the vessel’s operators, due to heavy rains in March and April in Ecuador.  Almost 2.09 million boxes were discharged in week 20 and around 2.0 million boxes are expected for week 21. The exchange rate between the USD and the Ruble was 1 USD=80.04 RUB. 

Selling prices in the Mediterranean were around USD 15.50-16.00 per box CIF for Ecuadorian bananas and USD 1.00-2.00 less for Central American origin, depending on brand, volume, and region. 

Prices in Libya were around USD 16.00 per box for Ecuadorian bananas and USD 14.00-14.50 per box CIF for Central American bananas. 

Prices in Algeria were at almost the same very high levels as the previous week, reaching USD 30.00-32.00 per box CIF. 

The Government didn’t eliminate the import licenses system, and the reduced volumes of bananas imported generated very high selling prices in the Maghreb country. 

In the Mersin Free Zone, prices were around USD 17.00-18.00 per box for the re-exported fruit of Ecuadorian bananas and around USD 1.00-2.00 less per box for Central American bananas.  The exchange rate between the USD and the Turkish Lira was 1 USD=22.00-23.00 TL. 

The Presidential elections slowed down activities, and the population will go back to vote again for the second round on May 28th as none of the two candidates reached sufficient votes to be elected on the first turn. The Iranian domestic market prices were around 65.000-70.000 Toman per kg for Ecuadorian bananas and about 55.00-60.000 Toman for Indian bananas. 

Indian bananas CIF Bandar Abbas sold at around USD 8.50-9.50 CIF for the 13.50 kg box. 

According to local traders, prices in Iran might keep at reasonable levels for about 7-10 days and then are expected to fall due to the large volumes of local summer fruit that will appear in the market and the high temperatures that do not favor banana consumption. 

The exchange rate between the USD and the Iranian Rial was 1 USD =520.000 IRR or 52.000 Toman. 

In the Ecuadorian Spot Market prices continued under severe pressure, with a confrontation between growers and exporters for the minimum price.

Volumes of good fruit were reduced, and large volumes of banana bunches were rejected in the farms due to quality problems. There were also large volumes of yellow fruit upon arrival at most destinations. 

No banana fixtures were reported in the Chartering Market, and the number of spot vessels increased after the end of the squid season in the South Atlantic. At least 10-12 smaller Specialised Reefer Vessels were reported idle, waiting for orders. 

Time Charter rates for large vessels were US Cents 60-70 per cbft per month and almost similar values for smaller ships. According to brokers, rates are expected to go further down in the coming days and weeks. 

Bunker prices:      

                                   VLSFO                           MGO      

Gibraltar               $      552.50                       $  734.00    

Rotterdam            $      537.50                       $  687.50     

Panama Canal     $      561.00                       $  758.00