Coconut oil exports seen improving
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - July 31, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s coconut oil exports are expected to slightly improve this year amid better production despite the continued slide in global prices.

In a briefing yesterday, the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP) said coconut oil exports may reach nearly one million metric tons (MT), up from 800,000 MT last year.

“We have good production and the lower price would also, in a way, help since more would want to buy it,” said UCAP executive director Yvonne Agustin.

Export value, however, may not reach $1.4 billion in earnings last year.

Despite this, UCAP is banking on other coconut-based products to further boost export value of the commodity amid major trends happening globally.

“There was a change from the low value coconut oil to high value coconut products due to the optimization of our products. It is no longer just coconut oil, we are now exporting coconut water, coconut flour, coconut sugar, among others,” UCAP vice chairman Marco Reyes said.

“Trends happening in the world are affecting the supply and demand of the commodity including health and wellness, green movement, demographic shifts. Developing nations are now looking for products that are organic and sustainable and can be good for diseases,” he added.

The industry is now focusing on creating value-added markets to get much higher value domestically and internationally.

“We have to create an export marketing program to create demand for a very valuable resource that is indigenous and will come back to the Philippines 100 percent, revenue wise,” UCAP chairman Dean Lao said.

“The world is changing and countries with a lot of purchasing power would continually have very big demand if your product is really excellent for their health,” Reyes said.

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