Market Overview – Week 16/2024


The selling prices of bananas in St Petersburg improved compared to the previous week, driven by robust demand. The prices, which vary based on brand, volume, quality, and type of packaging, ranged from USD 20.70 to 21.80 per box CIF.

In week 16, nearly 1.217 million boxes were discharged, and approximately 1.590 million boxes are expected for week 17.

The prevailing exchange rate was 1 USD = 94.09 RUB.

In the Mediterranean, Ecuadorean bananas were priced around USD 17.0-18.0 per box CIF, varying prices based on brand, volume, and region. Bananas from Central America or Colombia were sold at around USD 15.0-16.0 per box CIF. Prices remained high during the Holy Month of Ramadan and the subsequent Eid el Fitr holiday in Algeria where recently released import licenses for the quarter starting in April led to high expectations among shippers  in the exporting countries and increased inquiries in the Chartering Market. Traders, however, faced scrutiny from the Minister of Commerce, who accused them of high selling prices and threatened them with sanctions. High temperatures in the Maghreb country jeopardized banana consumption as consumers preferred juicy fruit. The persistently high FOB prices at origin might discourage Algerian traders from committing to import bananas shortly.

In the Mersin Free Zone, the prices for re-exported bananas of Ecuadorean origin were around USD 16.0-17.0, up to around USD 19.0 per box for extra quality and heavy boxes. For Central American bananas, the prices were around USD 14.0-16.0 per box. Shipments from the Free Zone to Iran could be affected if the crisis with Israel worsens. This is also dependent on the devaluation of the currency of the Islamic Republic, which is particularly sensitive to geopolitical events. The exchange rate was 1 USD = 32.49 TL.

Prices fluctuate in the Iranian domestic market. Ecuadorian bananas sell for 65.000-75.000 Toman per kg, while high-quality Indian bananas are priced at 56.000-60.000 Toman per kg.

The market was flooded with low-quality Indian bananas due to long delays in arrivals at the Jebel Ali port. Some containers have remained in Jebel Ali for more than 40 days, leading to an excess of  poor-quality  bananas in the market.

Due to the geopolitical events of the past weekend and the current week, the Iranian currency has further depreciated against the USD. On Friday, 1 USD = 66,000 Iranian Toman.

During the week, the maximum prices in the Ecuadorian Spot Market were USD 6.85-7.0 per box for the fruit only, with expectations of higher levels for weekend shipments. Although no banana fixtures were recorded, there were some inquiries for ships to Algeria following the release of a new batch of import licenses to importers.

Currently, large vessels are engaged in the kiwi trade from New Zealand and the citrus trade from South Africa to Northern Europe and Russia. The USA will follow. Shipments of citrus from South Africa to Japan have also been reported.

Several vessels are still employed in the South Atlantic and Falkland squid trade, but this is nearing its end. Smaller vessels had less employment.

The Time Charter rates were US Cents 80-85 for larger vessels and 75-80 per cbft per month for smaller ships.

Bunker Prices:

                        VLSFO           MGO

Rotterdam     $607.50         $764.50        

Gibraltar        $650.50         $845.00        

Panama         $683.00         $884.00