Despite the Pandemic, the Global Plantain Market is to Grow Steadily, Driven by Rising Population in Africa - Global Trade Magazine
  August 19th, 2020 | Written by

Despite the Pandemic, the Global Plantain Market is to Grow Steadily, Driven by Rising Population in Africa

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  • In 2019, the average plantain import price amounted to $634 per tonne, almost unchanged from the previous year.
  • From 2013 to 2019, the average annual growth rate of value in the U.S. stood at +4.9%.
  • The global plantain market rose to $31.9B in 2019 (IndexBox estimates), surging by 2.6%.

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Plantains – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Rising Population in Africa to Buoy Market Growth

The global plantain market rose to $31.9B in 2019 (IndexBox estimates), surging by 2.6% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). The market value increased at an average annual rate of +3.5% from 2013 to 2019; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with only minor fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2014 with an increase of 6.9% y-o-y. Global consumption peaked in 2019 and is likely to see steady growth in the near future.

In physical terms, global plantain consumption experienced a similar trend pattern, increasing from 37M tonnes in 2013 to approx. 43M tonnes in 2019. Over the last two years, the market rebounded after a slight contraction of 2016 which was caused by the escalation of civil armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which is the largest plantain consuming country.

The countries with the highest volumes of plantain consumption in 2019 were the Democratic Republic of the Congo (5.7M tonnes), Cameroon (5.2M tonnes), and Ghana (4.2M tonnes), together comprising 36% of global consumption.

In value terms, the largest plantain markets worldwide were the Democratic Republic of the Congo ($5.4B), Cameroon ($4.5B), and Nigeria ($2.7B), together accounting for 39% of the global market. Peru, Myanmar, Colombia, the Philippines, Uganda, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 40%.

The countries with the highest levels of plantain per capita consumption in 2019 were Cameroon (205 kg per person), Ghana (141 kg per person), and the Dominican Republic (94 kg per person).

Plantains remain a staple food in African countries incl. those with low incomes, as their population has limited opportunities to opt for new alternatives in their local cuisine. Rising population and incomes in Africa, therefore, constitute major fundamentals behind the growth of the plantain market. Similar factors are relevant for some Latin American and Asian countries where plantains are also consumed at a noticeable scale.

In early 2020, the global economy entered a period of the crisis caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Quarantine measures implemented worldwide to battle the spread of the virus hamper economic growth heavily throughout the world and disrupt the international supply chains. The result will be a drop in GDP which is to decrease consumer incomes.

Plantains, however, constitute a staple food, the consumption of which is rather insensitive to crisis periods. Given the fact that plantains are largely consumed in countries with low incomes and where they are only affordable mass food, it is not expected that the COVID crisis will lead to a deep decrease in plantain consumption. It is more likely that people would cut the consumption of more expensive food items on the backdrop of lower incomes. In the medium term, therefore, population growth will continue to drive growth in demand for plantains.

Accordingly, the plantain market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend, increasing with an anticipated CAGR of +2.4% for the period from 2019 to 2030, which is projected to bring the market volume to 55M tonnes by the end of 2030.

The U.S. Remains the Largest Importer of Plantains

In 2019, global imports of plantains increased by 2.3% to 1.3M tonnes, rising for the second year in a row after two years of decline. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.7% over the period from 2013 to 2019; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with only minor fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2015 with an increase of 7.9% against the previous year. Global imports peaked in 2019 and are likely to continue growing in the immediate term.

In value terms, plantain imports stood at $855M (IndexBox estimates) in 2019. The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +2.2% from 2013 to 2019; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2015 with an increase of 8.7% against the previous year. Over the period under review, global imports reached the maximum in 2019 and are expected to retain growth in years to come.

Imports by Country

The U.S. represented the key importing country with an import of about 359K tonnes, which amounted to 27% of total imports. Saudi Arabia (145K tonnes) held an 11% share (based on tonnes) of total imports, which put it in second place, followed by South Africa (8.3%), the Netherlands (5.3%), and Romania (5.1%). The following importers – the UK (52K tonnes), El Salvador (44K tonnes), the United Arab Emirates (42K tonnes), Belgium (33K tonnes), Jordan (32K tonnes), Spain (29K tonnes) and Macedonia (26K tonnes) – together made up 19% of total imports.

From 2013 to 2019, average annual rates of growth with regard to plantain imports into the U.S. stood at +2.6%. At the same time, the United Arab Emirates (+24.7%), the Netherlands (+17.2%), the UK (+10.2%), Macedonia (+9.3%), Romania (+6.4%), South Africa (+5.6%), Saudi Arabia (+4.1%) and Jordan (+1.4%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, the United Arab Emirates emerged as the fastest-growing importer imported in the world, with a CAGR of +24.7% from 2013-2019. By contrast, El Salvador (-7.2%), Spain (-7.3%) and Belgium (-8.4%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period.

In value terms, the U.S. ($230M) constitutes the largest market for imported plantains worldwide, comprising 27% of global imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Saudi Arabia ($99M), with a 12% share of global imports. It was followed by the Netherlands, with an 8.6% share.

From 2013 to 2019, the average annual growth rate of value in the U.S. stood at +4.9%. The remaining importing countries recorded the following average annual rates of import growth: Saudi Arabia (+9.1% per year) and the Netherlands (+16.7% per year).

Import Prices by Country

In 2019, the average plantain import price amounted to $634 per tonne, almost unchanged from the previous year. In general, the import price recorded a relatively flat trend pattern. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2017 when the average import price increased by 8.1% year-to-year. As a result, import price attained the peak level of $679 per tonne. From 2018 to 2019, the growth in terms of the average import prices failed to regain the momentum.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was the Netherlands ($1,032 per tonne), while El Salvador ($206 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by El Salvador, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform