A 63.3-percent year-on-year surge in the volume of coconut oil (CNO) shipped out in May has boosted the industry’s hopes of surpassing its full-year export goal.
Data from the Philippine Coconut Authority showed that about 122,000 metric tons of CNO valued at about $102 million were exported in May.
The shipments were composed of some 100,997 MT of crude coconut oil; 20,465 MT of refined, bleached oil, and 397 MT of refined, bleached and deodorized oil.
Two-thirds of the volume went to Europe—particularly The Netherlands, Italy and Spain—while one-fifth was shipped to the United States. China, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia also took in significant amounts.
The May export figure brought outbound CNO shipments for the first five months of the year to about 588,000 MT, up by 90 percent from the year-ago level.
In terms of value, CNO exports grew by 21 percent to $506.9 million.
Last month, the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP) expressed confidence that the volume of crude CNO exports would exceed the target for 2013 due to the later-than-expected implementation of the increase in biodiesel blend rate.
UCAP has set a goal of shipping out 900,000 metric tons of crude CNO this year, down from 925,000 MT for 2012.
UCAP executive director Yvonne Agustin said that when the target was set, the group had considered the early implementation of the B5 blend.
Agustin was referring to the required use of diesel with at least 5-percent coco methyl ester (CME) content. Currently, the requirement is for a CME-diesel blend of at least 2 percent.
The National Biofuels Board is scheduled to meet next week after wrapping up a roadshow of public consultations on the increase blend.
Agustin said that with the use of B5 coming much later than UCAP expected, CNO stocks will be made available for the overseas market instead of being used domestically for blending with diesel.
Considering that, she said CNO exports could surpass one million MT in 2013.