The Philippines exceeded its coconut oil (CNO) export target for 2013 despite slow down in shipments in the second half of the year, the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP) said on Tuesday.
In a telephone interview, UCAP Executive Director Yvonne Agustin said that the country’s CNO exports reached 1.123 million metric tons (MT) in January to December 2013, up by 31.9 percent from 852,234 MT in 2012.
For December 2013 alone, CNO shipments slowed down by 18.3 percent to 852,234 MT from 101,317 MT during the same period in 2012.
“We were able to exceed target despite slow down in the second half of last year. We are still assessing our figures since this is still preliminary,” Agustin said.
To recall, local coconut oil producers earlier revised upward their full-year export target to 1.1 million MT for 2013, from 900,000 MT because of the delay in the implementation of higher biofuel mix.
The Department of Agriculture earlier set full implementation of the 5-percent blend (B5) by the end of last year to ease effects of production surplus that depressed copra and CNO prices in the world market.
Because of the delays in the release of the study being conducted by the National Economic and Development Authority, the allotted CNO volume were shifted to export instead of delivery to domestic oil companies.
Meanwhile, prevailing world market prices of coconut oil range at $1,252 per MT in the last part of 2013—a premium compared to its main competitor palm kernel oil, which was pegged at $1,143 per MT.
Prices of coconut oil are expected to remain stable despite the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda to coconut plantations in the Central Philippines.
The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) earlier said that over 34 million trees have been confirmed damaged by Yolanda in Samar, Leyte and in Western Visayas. This comprises 10 percent of 340 million coconut trees in the country.
“We expect the impact on the supply to be felt starting this year, and may last for the next four years,” Agustin said, citing an earlier statement from the PCA.
UCAP expects to come up with this year’s export target by end of January.