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Banana prices ?


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for the longest time , bananas were 19 cents per banana.


then jumped to 24 cents per   apron 26 % increase 


at that time , bananas were  39 cents //lb  ( w 10 c off ) at Market Basket 


this was a week or so ago


now they are 29 cents @ TJ's , and 59 cents //lb ( again w 10 cents off ) at market basket 


Crop failure ?  demise of United Fruit ( chiquita ) ?

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I can only speak about the little that I know of the banana situation in Costa Rica. Every year the production of bananas  goes down. The price of bananas here goes up all the time. The only ones that seem to have stayed the same price are the little finger bananas that they don't export. I pay about $2 for 18 of them. And that price has been steady for about the last 2 years. I prefer them as they don't go mushy quite as fast and they are a lot sweeter.

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anyone knowledgeable in the banana trade?

bananas are usually a "mono" crop - huge plantings of the same variety . . .

I know there's currently a virus spreading and killing off huge swaths of 'old' plantations - new planting are different strains.


reason I ask:

at Costco, bought a bunch of "organic" bananas - the eventually go speckled / brown spots skins - but the banana itself did not go mushy/over ripe as the "usuals" do.

origin was Columbia - I'm presuming there's new plantations with virus resistant types there?


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I immediately thought that maybe it had something to do with the Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore, but when I looked, turns out most of the bananas arrive at the Port of Wilmington, in Delaware.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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29 minutes ago, Rickbern said:

My vote is the lack of rain that’s plaguing the Panama Canal is affecting the banana crop this year. Pure speculation though.



The Panama Canal is low on water, therefore the fewer bananas that they ship, then the boats will float higher requiring less water, simple 🥸


 My local Walmart sells them for $1.30/Kg and organic for $2.14/Kg 😒



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They are 59 cents/lb at my local Shoprite, which would make an individual banana less than 24 cents. Maybe just a Trader Joe’s pricing adjustment?

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My local TJ's increased their banana prices from 19 cents to 23 cents each for the regular bananas last month.  Organic bananas went from 25 cents to 29 cents each some time ago and that wasn't changed in this round.  TJ's reports that 19 cent price had been in effect for 20 years so not really that surprising to see an increase and at 23 cents each, that's probably still less than the 63 cents/pound that's been the average for the last 2 years (see graph below)


On a year-over-year basis, retail banana prices in the US have been pretty stable.  Obviously supermarkets often price them super low in their ads but there haven't been any huge year-long price swings.  When I look at this graph and think of the big price bumps in other food items, my first thought is that banana prices should probably increase so the farmers and workers can be paid more. 




Graph from here


I don't believe we're seeing any huge price swings from either global warming or disease just yet but I'm sure we will, sooner or later. The disease thing could be sooner but both will happen.

NPR's Science Friday had a piece today on the efforts of a North Carolina biotech working with Dole to develop a strain of Cavendish banana plants that are resistant to the TR-4 fungus.  They've been working on it since 2020 and are just now ready to test plants in the field, still years away from production.  Chiquita is also working on this and Australian regulatory agencies have recently approved a similar plant.  These are all GMO bananas where genes from bananas that are naturally resistant to the TR-4 fungus have been incorporated into Cavendish bananas.  

I wish they'd end the big Cavendish monoculture but it seems that after decades of being top banana, the Cavendish has become so productive and so ingrained in consumers minds as THE banana that moving away from it is an uphill climb. 


On Science Friday: Fighting Banana Blight In A North Carolina Greenhouse

and: A North Carolina company is trying to make a fungus-proof banana

Australian approval: Genetically modified banana resistant to Panama disease given approval for Australian consumption


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22 hours ago, weinoo said:

I immediately thought that maybe it had something to do with the Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore, but when I looked, turns out most of the bananas arrive at the Port of Wilmington, in Delaware.


Yeah, it's interesting (or maybe only interesting to me because I used to live next to one 🙃) that bananas and other refrigerated stuff have developed their infrastructure (refrigerated warehouses and distribution) in smaller niche ports. So Wilmington instead of New York/New Jersey and Port Hueneme instead of Los Angeles/Long Beach out here on the west coast. 


This map is outdated but shows the comparison between banana boats and container ships at US ports. 

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Just came back from my local store where I had to pick up some stuff. Walked passed the bananas. Regular bananas were going for ¥2.18 for 500 grams. That's 30 cents USD for 1.1 pounds. And the markets will be cheaper.


They've been around that price for as long as I can remember.

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