Coconut oil exports jumped by 81.35 percent in January to 115,186 metric tons from 63,517 MT in the same month last year, preliminary data from the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (Ucap) showed.
“There was an increase in the demand in our existing markets,” said Yvonne Agustin, Ucap executive director, noting that the industry’s major markets such as the United States and Europe continued to show signs of recovery from the economic slowdown.
Ucap earlier reported that in 2012, the total outbound shipment of coconut oil fell short of its full-year target due to the softening of demand for the product.
Last year, coconut oil exports reached 851,913 MT, a 3.7-percent increase from the 2011 level but short of the industry target of 925,000 MT.
Agustin, in earlier interviews, attributed the poor performance of coconut oil exports to weaker external demand.
In general, however, the value of coconut exports fell by 21.57 percent in 2012, mainly due to the lower prices of coconut products in the world market.
To resolve the country’s dependence on the prices set by the world market, Philippine Coconut Authority Administrator Euclides Forbes said the attached agency of the Department of Agriculture was crafting a plan to establish an industrial estate where coconut product processing will be done.
The country’s output, thus, can be used for manufacturing products intended to serve the needs of the domestic market.