The country’s coconut oil exports more than doubled in December 2015, the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP) said, but outbound shipments for the full year were still lower compared with the 2014 level.
UCAP executive director Yvonne Agustin said CNO exports reached 57,355 metric tons in December 2015, up by 102.6 percent from 28,304 MT a year earlier.
Despite the shipment volume having doubled, Agustin said December’s exports were significantly below the industry’s monthly shipment average of 80,000 MT.
“Raw materials were not easily available during the period. So it was just because of the low base impact,” Agustin said, adding that the figures were still preliminary.
Full-year CNO exports, at 843,710 MT, were down 1.5 percent compared to the 856, 9730MT in 2014, she said, but the industry still managed to exceed its 2015 target.
“Exports figures were down for most of the year, except in the earlier months and the last two months of the year,” she said.
“But despite the weakness in demand, we were still able to exceed our full year shipment target of 804, 000 MT in 2015.”
She attributed the weak demand to a wide gap between prices of CNO and palm kernel oil. In December, prices of CNO averaged $1,144 per MT, significantly higher than palm kernel oil’s $840 per MT.
For this year, Agustin said the industry expects tighter supply of raw materials due to possible effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon.
Coconut oil, which is used in food, cosmetics, and energy-related products, is one the Philippines’ top dollar earners.
At present, the Philippines exports over 70 percent of its coconut oil output, of which about 80 percent go to Europe and the United States.