[Sca-cooks] bananas

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Mon Jul 19 06:36:43 PDT 2010

> Stefan wrote;
> Successful banana selling requires low cost to grow them and low labor 
> costs
> and shipping in bulk.
> ------------------------------
> Not necessarily so. It is illegal to import bananas into Australia (to 
> avoid
> disease of course ;-P). All the bananas we get are grown here, our labour
> laws are very reasonable and our bananas are quite cheap (apart from a six
> month or so period a couple of years ago when a major banana growing 
> region
> was wiped out by a cyclone).
> Angharad

The current price on bananas in Oklahoma is .49 USD per avoirdupois pound 
(or $1.08 per kilogram).  That is approximately .56 AUD per avoirdupois 
pound or 1.23 AUD per kilogram.  Given that Oklahoma is a landlocked state 
with a seaport, the price is likely to be a good working number for bananas 
in the US (cheaper on the coasts, higher in the central plains and Rocky 
Mountain west.  So how do actual prices compare between Oklahoma and 

Stefan's formula is the one used by the fruit growers to wring fabulous 
profits out of the banana trade, but it neglects cost/value of refrigerated 
transport and distance to market.   Refrigerated transport minimizes 
spoilage, essentially eliminating the primary cost of shipping.  Bulk 
shipping reduces the cost of refrigeration and transportation.  Distance to 
market determines the overall cost of the shipping.

Given the controlled economy in bananas and the shorter shipping distance, I 
expect prices in Oz will be a little higher than in the US, but not 
outrageous (if it were, the government protection would likely disappear). 
I suspect that the banana growers make a moderate but steady profit in the 
internal market (which keeps at home support for their business) and any 
large profits are made by exporting to Japan and possibly Chile.  It would 
be interesting to see the financials.


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