Zimbabwe’s banana market could face an oversupply after leading producers stopped exports to South Africa, the country’s biggest market, due to the depreciation of the rand.
South Africa has become a risky export market for Zimbabwe, which is a high-cost producer.
Zimbabwe also operates under a multi-currency regime, dominated by the United States dollar, which deprives the central bank of control over the exchange rate and money supply.
Increasingly, local banana producers are finding the going tough in the export market, especially in South Africa and Zambia.
This has forced leading banana producers to temporarily stop exports to South Africa.
Ironically, this comes after some of the banana producers had pleaded with government to engage South Africa to revoke its ban on Zimbabwean bananas it issued in 2012.
The ban that lasted for two-years had been occasioned by the discovery, by the South African government, of a fruit-line disease associated with local bananas.