The country’s coconut oil (CNO) exports bounced back in July this year after a slump in the previous month, as traditional markets increased orders for their stock requirements, the United Coconut Association of the Philippines Inc. (UCAP) said on Tuesday.
In a telephone interview, Yvonne Agustin, UCAP executive director, said that Philippine CNO exports reached 115,104 metric tons (MT) in July 2013, up by 14.4 percent from the 100,658 MT a year ago.
“There has been a notable improvement in demand for CNO last month as majority of our buyers starts to fill up their inventory,” she added.
From January to July 2013, CNO exports increased 51.7 percent to 746,759 MT from 492,129 MT during the same period last year.
To recall, CNO exports hit a slight bump in June 2013, dropping 22.5 percent to 63,408 MT form 81,787 MT a year ago, because of the slow down in the delivery of copra.
Agustin said that they are confident that the demand for CNO in world market—particularly in Europe and the United States—would continue to pick up during the rest of the year. Both countries account for 80 percent of the total CNO exports.
Meanwhile, Agustin said that CNO enjoyed a premium pricing at $870 to $875 per MT as compared to its premier competitor palm kernel oil at $845 per MT.
Earlier, the industry forecast CNO exports to reach 900,000 MT in 2013, lower than the 925,000-MT target in 2012.
But Agustin said that they expect to exceed the target, adding that CNO exports could reach over 1 million MT this year.
“When we set our targets, we have considered the early implementation of the B5 [5-percent bio-diesel] blend. But now, we can ship this volume to the world market,” she added.
The National Biofuels Board has yet to approve the increase in the required minimum blend of oil products to 5 percent from the current 2 percent, as it conducts final testing on the use of coconut oil in biofuel mix.
The Department of Agriculture expects its 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.