Coconut oil exports dropped 4.2 percent in the first two months from a year ago, on low supply of raw materials, the United Coconut Association of the Philippines said Wednesday.
UCAP executive director Yvonne Agustin said CNO exports in the two-month period reached 114,783 metric tons.
Agustin, however, said coconut oil exports increased 10 percent in February to 65,105 metric tons from 59,179 metric tons on year.
“For February, there was a slight improvement in the delivery of coconut oil, but the volume was still below the 80,000 metric tons monthly shipment average,” Agustin said.
The average price of coconut oil was at $1,216 per metric ton in February, still higher than competitor palm kernel oil at $985 per metric ton.
Agustin earlier said exports of coconut oil were expected to drop 11 percent to 750,000 metric tons this year from 840,000 metric tons last year, owing to the effects of El Niño dry spell.
“Despite the slight recovery in the exports last February, we are maintaining the target for this year because it’s still early to tell wether supply of raw materials will improve,” Agustin said.
Coconut oil, which is used in food, cosmetics and energy-related products, is one the Philippines’ top dollar earners.
The Philippines exports over 70 percent of its coconut oil produce. About 80 percent of the shipments go to Europe and the United States.