MOSCOW, 11 Feb – RIA Novosti. Russian retail chains started having difficulties in purchasing bananas, the Kommersant newspaper writes, citing sources in the food market and among fruit importers.
The reason was poor harvest in Ecuador, high demand for this type of fruit, as well as delays in deliveries – all this led to a shortage of bananas, as well as an increase in wholesale prices by almost 40 percent – from 60 rubles to 82 rubles per kilogram. Ecuador's banana harvest fell last year due to weather conditions and the activity of the Sangay volcano, which damaged the plantations.
The newspaper's source in the federal network confirmed the reports of a banana shortage in the market and an increase in wholesale prices: the situation is expected to improve within a few weeks.
In “Vkusville”, in turn, said that this problem may persist until April. The newspaper also noted that several vessels with fruit cannot be unloaded at the port in St. Petersburg – this also led to a shortage of goods. X5 Retail Group assured that the supply of bananas is stable, and they do not see an increase in purchase prices due to the development of their own import tools.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the statistics of the FCS base, the import of bananas to the country decreased by 3.6 percent – to 391.2 thousand tons, in terms of money, the supply decreased by 5.1 percent. In addition to Ecuador, the list of exporters included Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and the Philippines.
As Irina Koziy, CEO of FruitNews News Agency, explained, wholesale prices for bananas grow in winter – consumption in the Northern Hemisphere increases at this time of the year, and the plant itself bears fruit all year round and evenly. At the same time, the supply of this fruit is complicated due to the rise in the cost of transportation – this is due to restrictions due to the spread of the coronavirus. In Russia, the rise in prices was also caused by the ruble exchange rate.
Goat noted that bananas are the most popular fruit in Russia.