PH coco oil 7-mth exports jump 18.7%

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The Philippines’ coconut oil (CNO) exports bounced back in the first seven months of the year as a result of stable demand from traditional markets and premium prices over its competitors, the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP) said on Thursday.

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In a telephone interview, UCAP executive director Yvonne Agustin said the country’s CNO
exports reached 517,570 metric tons in January-July 2015, or 18.7 percent higher than the 436,580 MT during the same period last year.

“Based on our preliminary date, supply of raw materials have started to normalize, allowing exporters to meet monthly shipment average of 80,000 MT for the first seven months of 2015,” Agustin added.

The official, however, noted that low base comparison for this year is a big factor for the increase.

Devastation caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda slowed supply and delivery of copra to mills nationwide in 2014.

But production of raw materials has started to pick up early this year.

In July 2015 alone, CNO shipments fell by 30.2 percent to 60, 675 MT from 86, 931 MT a year ago.

Agustin attributed the lower shipment volume to delays in delivery of raw materials—dried coconut meat or copra–and late arrival of vessels because of typhoons that hit the country in July.

Meanwhile, UCAP said the CNO exports continued to enjoy premium prices at $1,089 per MT as compared to its competitor palm kernel oil at $867 per MT.

“Traditionally, a bigger price differential usually results in buyers shifting to the cheaper alternative. But based on the average prices during the period, there’s an oversupply of palm kernel oil and palm oil in the market,” Agustin said.

Coconut oil, which is used in food, cosmetics and energy-related products, is one the Philippines’ top dollar earners.

At present, the Philippines exports over 70 percent of its coconut oil produce, of which about 80-90 percent go to Europe and the United States.

Agustin said the industry is confident that it will hit export target of 804,000 MT for this year.

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