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Banana exports to US likely in April

Filipino banana producers are expected to make their first shipment of Cavendish bananas to the US mainland in April, after several failed attempts in the past. “They are eligible now to go as long as they meet the standards of the protocol that was negotiated between the Philippines and the US. The first shipment can go sometime in April,” US Agriculture Department counselor Philip Shull said over the weekend. The previous attempts to export bananas to the US in December 2012 and January this year were spoiled by the destruction caused by typhoon Pablo on banana plantations in Mindanao. About 14,000 hectares of banana plantation were wiped out following torrential rains that hit the major producing provinces in Mindanao in December. The government hopes to find another lucrative market in the US after having difficulties in dealing with the Chinese quarantine divisions in the entry of Cavendish bananas to Beijing. Shull said the US government was not preventing Philippine bananas from penetrating the US fruits market.
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