MANILA, Philippines - Export earnings from abaca products went up 17 percent in the first nine months of 2016 despite a decrease in volume demand from major markets, the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) reported yesterday.
According to PhilFIDA, abaca export sales reached $101.8 million from $86.7 million in the same period in 2015.
Abaca pulp accounted for $70.3 million of total exports, 20 percent higher than the earnings in the comparative period.
Shipments to Europe declined five percent to 12,187.2 metric tons (MT), while shipment volume to Asia went down nine percent to 2,935.4 MT.
The US purchased 2,101.5 MT, up three-fold year on year.
The total volume of abaca pulp exports expanded by four percent in the January to September period to 17,224.1 MT.
Meanwhile, the value of outbound shipments of fabric and cordage declined 20 percent and 38 percent, respectively.
Fabrics exports contracted to $623,517 from $783,209, while cordage exports shrank to $5.6 million from $9.1 million in 2015.
Exports of fiber crafts, on the other hand, reached $6.8 million, more than double the $3.2 million recorded a year earlier.
Meanwhile, the value of raw fiber exports increased 21 percent to $18.4 million with total volume of exports slightly up to 79,678 bales.
Abaca is a material used for making tea bags, casing of meat sausages, surgical masks and cigarette paper.
Philippine abaca products are sold to the US, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, China, Taiwan and South Korea among others.