PH coconut oil exports dropped 60% in July
Philippine exports of coconut oil (CNO) plunged by 60 percent year-on-year in July, worse than what industry players had expected.
According to the United Coconut Association of the Philippines, a dearth of input, mainly copra, continued to beset producers of the country’s top agricultural dollar earner.
The onslaught of Super Typhoon “Yolanda” in November 2013 also took its toll on the industry, destroying at least a third of coconut trees across the country.
Likewise, most trees are at that point of a three-year cycle when production of nuts is at the lowest.
On top of these production hurdles, the spread of coconut scale insect infestation from the Calabarzon region and Basilan province now threatens coconut farms.
UCAP executive director Yvonne Agustin told reporters that the volume of CNO shipped out in July tapered to 49,845 tons from 124,480 tons in the same month of 2013.
“The rate of decline in shipment should not have been as bad as it turned out,” Agustin said. “But the arrival of two vessels that would carry [out shipments] got delayed.”
She said the cargo of the two vessels would be recorded for the month of August.
Exports in the seven months to July dipped by 48 percent to 411,523 tons, from 784,862 tons the previous year.
Because of this development, exporters are now reconsidering their volume goal of 850,000 tons for this year, Agustin said.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has also projected a decrease this year in worldwide exports of coconut oil.
In the six months to April 2014, the FAO observed a 0.6-percent easing of vegetable oil production—including CNO production—which settled at 196 million tons, from the 193 million tons recorded the in the same period a year.
“With regard to [CNO], the anticipated drop in global exports is entirely due to the Philippines’ reduced copra harvest,” the FAO said in a report issued last May.
In its latest biannual Food Outlook report, the United Nations agency said that world production of copra could shrink by 4.5 percent to 5.6 million tons this year from the previous 5.9 million tons.