MANILA, Philippines – Coconut oil exports rose 49 percent in the first nine months of the year on improved copra supply in the first semester of the year and increased demand in key export markets.
Data from the Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP) showed that coconut oil exports in the first three quarters of the year reached 902,009 metric tons (MT) against 607,173 MT in the same period last year.
In September alone, coconut oil shipments rose 1.7 percent to 74,769 MT against 73,522 MT in the same month last year.
“We had increased supply of copra in the first half of the year and demand also increased in key markets like US and Europe,” said UCAP executive director Yvonne Agustin.
Coconut oil currently enjoys a higher world market price of $1,120 per MT compared to around $980 per MT in August.
Data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) showed that coconut oil remains as the agriculture sector’s top dollar earner despite a 0.28 percent year-on-year drop in earnings in the first half, bringing in $538.31 million during the first six months of the year.
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Coconut exporters have also revised the targeted aggregate shipment volume for the year to 1.1 million MT from the previous estimate of 900,000 MT as the increase in the mandated biodiesel blend for local consumption would not yet be implemented this year.
“When we made the previous forecast, it was assumed that the five-percent increase in the biodiesel blend would be implemented this year. So while this is not yet implemented, the volume can be exported,” said Agustin.
The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and the National Center for Transportation Studies of the University of the Philippines (UP-NCTS) has begun testing the use of the five percent mandated biodiesel blend on passenger jeepneys.
The National Biofuels Board (NBB) approved in June the increase in the mandated biodiesel blend from two percent to five percent. The board is chaired by the secretary of Department of Energy and is composed of the heads of the Department of Trade and Industry, Science and Technology, Agriculture, Finance, Labor and Employment, PCA, and, Sugar Regulatory Administration.