The country’s coconut oil (CNO) shipment dropped by almost half in the first month of the year in the wake of the devastation brought by Super Typhoon Yolanda to major coconut-producing areas, the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP) said over the weekend.
UCAP Executive Director Yvonne Agustin said that the country’s CNO exports reached 72,470 metric tons (MT) in January 2014, or 46.4 percent lower than the 135,432 MT recorded a year ago.
“We are comparing to high volume year. The January 2014 is still within normal range of monthly shipment,” she added.
To recall, shipments of CNO started to slow down in the latter part of last year with Yolanda devastating 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.
In 2013, full-year CNO exports reached 1.126 million MT, up by 31.9 percent from 852,234 MT in 2012, and exceeding targets.
This year, the local coconut oil industry set a lower export target of about 850,000 MT because of the effect of the typhoon.
But Agustin said that the industry has yet to feel the effect of the destruction to CNO shipments.
“The extent of the effect of the typhoon to CNO shipments has yet to be fully determined but should be felt in next month’s shipment,” she added.