Coconut oil exports drop 14 percent in April

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Philippine coconut oil (CNO) exports dropped 14.2 percent in April this year as demand from traditional markets slowed down following massive procurements in the previous months, the United Coconut Association of the Philippines Inc. (UCAP) said on Tuesday.

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In a telephone interview, UCAP Executive Director Yvonne Agustin said that the country’s CNO exports reached 55,800 metric tons (MT) in April 2013 from 65,051 MT a year ago.

Exports of CNO for first four months of 2013 reached 375,777 MT, up by 59.8 percent from 235,071 MT a year ago, she said.

“This may be one of the lows for this year but that doesn’t mean that there will be no recovery. There have been large shipments from January to March so they [customers]may have already satisfied their stock requirements,” Agustin added.

Manila recorded a gradual increase in the volume of CNO shipments over the first three months of the year, as a result of carry over shipments and uptick demand from key markets.

In March this year alone, shipments of CNO increased by 125 percent to 142,991 MT from 63,649 MT in the same period last year.

Agustin earlier said that CNO exports are expected to pick up in the coming months because of increasing requirements from buyers, particularly from Europe and the United States.

For this year, she said that they expect higher shipments of CNO to Europe and US, which account to about 80 percent of total exports, as the market shifts away from palm kernel oil because of narrowing price differentials.

Palm kernel oil is coconut oil’s premier competitor in the world market.

James Konstantin Galvez

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