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PHL fruit production improves in January-June

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The country’s pineapple harvest climbed to a new record and boosted fruit production in the first semester, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

PSA said in its latest report that pineapples, bananas and mangoes all recorded production increases in the January-to-June period.

Pineapple output expanded by 5.16 percent to 1.407 million metric tons (MMT) in the first semester from the 1.338  MMT recorded a year ago. Based on historical data, the latest figure is the country’s highest first-half pineapple production.

Mango production during the period rose to a four-year high, according to the PSA. Output expanded by 2,570 MT to 654,710 MT from last year’s 652,140 MT.

Meanwhile, banana output recovered to 4.343 MMT, 1.16 percent higher than the 4.293 MMT recorded last year. Banana production in the first half of 2020 declined by almost 2 percent from 4.375 MMT recorded in 2019.

Economist Pablito M. Villegas said the increase in the demand for nutritious food may have been one of the factors that drove the uptick in fruit production this year. Villegas said Filipino consumers have become more conscious about what they eat due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There is really demand for fruits. Especially when everyone is in isolation or lockdowns; they buy a lot of fruits to keep their bodies healthy and their immune system strong,” he told the BusinessMirror.

Villegas also said the export market was the biggest driver of record-high pineapple production during the period. He noted that there is growing demand for local pineapple products in other countries, particularly in the United States.

PSA data showed that the country’s shipments of pineapples and pineapple products rose by 3.56 percent to 1.046 MMT in the first semester from 1.01 MMT last year. In terms of value, pineapple shipments expanded by 9.36 percent to $671.827 million from $614.336 million.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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