CNO exports up 50% as of Sept.

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Earnings from coconut oil exports increased by almost half in the first three quarters of the year as supply of copra remained stable, the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP) said on Friday.

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In a telephone interview, UCAP Executive Director Yvonne Agustin said that CNO exports reached 902,009 metric tons (MT) in the period of January to September 2013, up by 48.55 percent from 607,173 MT recorded a year ago.

For September 2013 alone, CNO exports were slightly up to 74,769 MT from 73,522 MT last year, with majority of the shipments going to traditional markets like the United States and Europe.

Prevailing world market prices of coconut oil range from $1,095 per MT in September 2013, up from $980 per MT in the previous month—a premium compared to its main competitor palm oil, which is priced at $1,010 a MT.

Agustin said that they have revised upward CNO full-year export target to 1.1 million MT for this year, from 900,000 MT.

“When we made the previous forecast, it was assumed that the 5-percent B5 blend would be implemented this year. Instead of deliveries to oil companies, the volume would be exported,” she added.

B5 refers to the five-percent coconut oil blend for diesel fuel. The National Biofuels Board has yet to approve the official increase in the required minimum blend of oil products to 5 percent from the current 2 percent, pending the results of the impact study being conducted by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

In September, NEDA allowed the voluntary increase in biodiesel blend of oil companies, which can comply with the B5 draft standards.

Earlier, the Department of Agriculture said that it expects full implementation of B5 within the year, saying that hiking the use of coconut oil in biofuel mix will ease effects of production surplus that depressed copra and CNO prices in the world market.

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