Phl agri food products gaining demand abroad

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Demand for the country’s food products in the export market is gaining more ground as the government focuses on diversifying its international markets.

According to the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT), consumers in new destination markets eye products that are not easily available in local stores but are widely produced or grown in the Philippines.

For one, demand for Philippine coconut oil is increasing in South Africa but the country’s coconut oil exports fell 28 percent in the first nine months following the tightness in raw material supply due to the lingering effects of the dry spell.

The United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP) said coconut oil exports reached 472,353 metric tons (MT) from January to September, 27.8 percent lower than the 655,049 MT a year ago.

Furthermore, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) noted that gluten-free products continue to gain popularity in the US and Europe.

The DTI encouraged Filipino manufacturers to innovate products made from mango flour, coconut flour, and even banana flour for export to these countries.

Iranian ambassador Mohammad Tanhaei said Iran’s demand for fruits and other agricultural products coming from the Philippines continues to exceed supply.

“Many Iranian companies are still requesting for more bananas from the Philippines. Suppliers of other tropical fruits like mango, whether in their raw state or processed into juices or concentrates, are also needed in Iran,” he said.

Meanwhile, snacks and fast food are becoming a key entry point for possible exports to the Indian market.

Narayanan Ramakrishnan, charge d’affaires of the Embassy of India in Manila, said Indians have developed an appetite for non-traditional Indian cuisine and urged Filipino producers to find local partners to explore and tap the South Asian market.

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