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Coconut exports still down; onset of La Niña may hike production

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By Madelaine B. Miraflor

The country’s coconut oil (CNO) exports is still reeling from the effects of drought that hit the country in early 2015 until this year but the decline seen in the third quarter numbers is no longer as bad as in the first four months of the year.

A United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP) said that CNO exports was down to 472, 353 metric tons in the third quarter of the year, down by 27.8 percent from the 655,049 MT posted during the same period last year.

coconut trees

(Photo courtesy of Weng Gales/ flickr.com/ )

UCAP executive director Yvonne Agustin said the decline was due to the lingering effects of El Niño.

In September alone, the country shipped 77,766 MT of CNO abroad, down by 3.2 percent from 80,406 MT last year.

During the period, prices of CNO at the foreign market averaged $1, 527 per MT, higher than its competitor palm kernel oil at $1,402 per MT.

Agustin said the target this year is for the country to be able to export 750,000 MT of CNO but she didn’t give any outlook in terms of its attainability.

“That [third quarter] data is still preliminary. The only official data we have is only until June,” Agustin said.

In a previous interview, Agustin said the CNO industry will likely bounce back in the second half of this year.

This, as the weather condition shifts from dry to wet as a result of La Niña.

“There will be significant improvement from last year. But we have to remember that we have a very low base comparison,” Agustin noted.

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