Coconut oil exports jumped 20% in April
The Philippines expects continued strengthening of its coconut oil (CNO) in the coming months as April orders grew by about 20 percent.
Data from the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (Ucap) showed that CNO orders for April amounted to 71,650 tons, or 19.5 percent higher year-on-year.
The April numbers show extended gains for CNO exporters in the Philippines.
In the first three months of the year, the country’s CNO exports surged 35.9 percent to 200,126 tons. By month, the breakdown is as follows: 60,658 tons for January; 56,550 tons for February; and 82,918 tons for March.
Ucap attributed the continued growth in CNO exports to sustained demand and comparatively low exports in 2014.
The United States and Europe remain as major buyers of Philippine CNO, followed by Japan, according to Ucap.
For May, there is a chance that the Philippines may exceed last year’s CNO exports of 60,000 tons. However, Ucap has yet to consolidate estimated orders for the month.
“So far we are on track with our target exports for the year, which is about 804,000 tons,” Ucap executive director Yvonne V. Agustin said.
In 2014, Philippine CNO exports fell due to tight supply of raw materials, coupled with the slowdown in coconut production.
“Deliveries of copra remained low as coconut production is still suffering from the effects of the typhoon. Also, there’s this natural slowdown in production due to biological stress after two consecutive years of good production,” Agustin said at the time.
Pricing also played a role. A wider gap in the prices may have resulted in buyers shifting to palm kernel oil, which is a cheaper alternative, industry players said.
Coconut oil, which is used in food, cosmetics and energy-related products, is one the Philippines’ top dollar earners.
The Philippines exports more than 70 percent of its coconut oil produce. About 80 percent of shipments go to the US and Europe.