9-month coco oil exports fall by 36%
MANILA, Philippines–Philippine exports of coconut oil (CNO) plunged 36 percent year on year in the nine months to September with the continuing slump in yield per tree and the aftermath of Super Typhoon “Yolanda.”
According to the United Coconut Association of the Philippines, the volume of CNO shipped out during the three quarters fell to 585,189 tons from 915,221 tons previously.
UCAP executive director Yvonne Agustin said that in September alone, exports of the country’s top agricultural dollar declined by 23 percent to settle at 69,213 tons.
Agustin said the supply of copra, the raw material for coconut oil production, remained tight.
“This is expected since many of our coconut areas were still recovering from the damage sustained from the typhoon,” she said, referring to Yolanda.
With millions of trees felled or severely damaged in the wake of Yolanda as well as Typhoon Pablo in December 2012, UCAP expects coconut output in 2014 to slide by some 14 percent to 2.4 million tons.
Also, a production shortfall is expected this year with a cyclical “production stress” that follows two previous years of growth.
In a biannual Food Outlook report issued last May, the Food and Agriculture Organization said Yolanda’s devastation of coconut trees in the Philippines was expected to take its toll on the global output of copra and the trade of coconut oil this year.
The United Nations agency said world production of copra was expected to shrink by 4.5 percent to 5.6 million tons this year from 5.9 million tons previously.
The FAO said global copra output in 2014 is set to fall as a direct result of Yolanda.
In its 142-page report that covers the November-April period, the agency said it observed a 0.6-percent easing of vegetable oil production—including CNO production—which settled at 196 million tons from 193 million tons previously.
The FAO also forecast a decrease in worldwide exports of CNO, which is produced from copra.
“With regard to (CNO), the anticipated drop in global exports is entirely due to the Philippines’ reduced copra harvest,” the FAO said.–Ron W. Domingo