Vessels are slowly returning to Davao, about 960 kilometers from the Philippine capital Manila, after cutting their services due to declining banana exports, according to Hans Tuchel, president of Davao-based Banana Brothers.
The dip in shipments resulted from the imposition by China of strict quarantine requirements for Philippine banana exports.
But the comeback of shipping services is still not a cause of celebration among exporters, said Tuchel, since the services returning are for China and not the Middle East where capacity remains tight and the need most acute.
Volume bound for the Middle East has increased 25% just in the last two months, Tuchel told PortCalls.
Philippine banana exporters turned to the Middle East after China early this year imposed stricter quarantine requirements.
Currently, lines calling Davao bound for the Middle East via Singapore call only once every two weeks.
“Vessel capacity, especially for the Middle East, remains very tight,” said Tuchel. “We really need additional vessel capacity to the Middle East right now.”