The value of coconut water exports rose by 260.55 percent to $1.32 million in the first quarter of 2012, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) said in a statement.
PCA Administrator Euclides Forbes said the Philippines sold 4.49 million liters of coco water in the first quarter, a 300-percent jump from the 1.12-million liters sold in the same period last year.
Forbes said that this year’s volume of coco water export will exceed the 2011 total of 16.68-million liters. This was equivalent to $15.11 million in receipts, the PCA said.
Just like last year, the United States was the main buyer of Philippine coco water. Export earnings from the US increased by 426.75 percent to $3.94 million in the first three months of the year. Americans bought 3.72 million liters of Philippine coco water in the first quarter of 2012, against 796,887 liters in 2011.
When he visited the United States last year, President Benigno Aquino III promoted coco water, meeting with US businessmen who had put up a coconut water processing firm in Camarines Sur.
Coco water also made a strong showing in the Netherlands, which bought 189,800 liters, from 32,000 last year, and Australia, which registered a 362.55-percent volume increase to 65,2919 liters.
Forbes said coconut water had become a popular energy drink abroad because of its natural qualities and lack of chemical preservatives.
Coconut water is rich in potassium and magnesium, and contains a considerable amount of vitamin B which aids in strengthening the muscles, delaying fatigue and maintaining normal heart function.
It is also regarded as a good source of electrolytes and glucose and has been found suitable for intravenous rehydration. It is also a healthy and effective treatment for urinary stones.
Forbes stressed that the country needs to plant more coconut trees to be able to meet the growing demand for coconut products. He said the PCA is currently implementing an aggressive program to replace mature trees and fertilize coconut plantations. Kristine L. Alave