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Coco exports seen to grow further

MANILA, Philippines - Coconut exports are expected to grow further in markets where the Philippines has preferential trade agreements with because of the zero tariff, the United Coconut Associations of the Philippines (UCAP) said.

 “The elimination of tariffs under these trade agreements helped further boost the market access of low-to-medium moving coconut products,” Yvonne T. Agustin, executive director of UCAP said.

UCAP is a confederation of associations and organizations involved in the various activities of the Philippine coconut industry.

Industry reports show that exports of coconut products have been consistently rising with an average growth rate of eight percent over the period of 2007-2010. In 2010, total exports of coconut reached $1.5 billion and accounted for 20 percent world market share, the highest among key sectors identified in the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP).

 “These trade agreements level the playing field for Filipino exporters with our other neighboring countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand,” said Marco C. Reyes, group product manager of HanCole Industries Ltd., a company that exports vegetable oils, surfactants, oleo-chemical derivatives and other derivatives from coconut to Japan, China, Australia, Europe and North America.

In 2010, three-fourths of Philippine coconut exports revenue went to markets where the Philippines has free trade agreements with, namely ASEAN, China, Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. In the first quarter of 2011, the Philippine coconut shell charcoal exports to Japan has already accounted for 60.7 percent of total market share while total glycerin exports accounted for 69.8 percent, both figures based on volume. This is a remarkable increase over 2010’s total market share in Japan of 57.5 percent and 56.8 percent, respectively.

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