Abaca exports down at end-Oct.
Philippine abaca exports decreased by 3 percent to $96.9 million in the 10 months to October 2015 despite production remaining on the growth track.
According to the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFida), domestic output of abaca fibers increased by 1.6 percent year-on-year in 2015 totaling about 58.7 million kilos of abaca exports including pulp, cordage, fabrics, fibercraft and raw fiber. For raw fiber alone, the value of outbound 10-month shipments increased by 41 percent year-on-year to $16.5 million.
Most manufactured abaca exports, however, showed declining earnings except for top-earner pulp which increased by 2.6 percent to $66.3 million.
Receipts from cordage settled at $10 million from $10.4 million, a decrease of 4.2 percent.
Earnings from fibercrafts fell by 70 percent to $3.3 million while those from fabrics plunged 53 percent to about $822,000.
For the full year, the Bicol region remained the country’s top producer with 36 percent of the total output or 21.4 million kilos.
However, abaca production from Bicol suffered a 9-percent decline from 23.5 million kilos in 2014.
Double-digit increases in output from the regions of Davao, Northern Mindanao, Caraga and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao helped shore up growth in total volume.
Production from Davao jumped 34 percent to 10.1 million kilos, Northern Mindanao by 31 percent to 3.8 million kilos, Caraga by 14 percent to 6.1 million kilos, and ARMM by 13 percent to 5.9 million kilos.
According to the Bureau of Agricultural Research, the country ships out abaca products valued at some $100 million yearly.
The government has observed increasing demand for abaca in the United States, Europe and Japan, where the fiber is used in making denim.
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