Coconut oil exports plummet due to typhoon damage


MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is expected to export less coconut oil due to the impact of Typhoon Odette on the local coconut sector, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In a report by its Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the USDA said the Philippines could export 930,000 metric tons (MT) of coconut oil in the 2022 to 2023 marketing year, which begins in october.

The latest figure is 2% lower than the projected export volume of 950,000 MT for the current marketing year.

The USDA attributed the lower export forecast to a drop in production due to the devastation inflicted by Odette on the coconut palms in December 2021.

Data from the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operations Center showed that damage to coconuts from Odette could reach 1.62 billion pesos, or 12.2 % of total typhoon damage to agriculture.

The USDA predicts that coconut oil production in the Philippines will fall by one percent to 1.65 million tons this year due to Odette.

“For the 2022/23 market year, industrial, food use, and food waste consumption may increase slightly due to the country’s reopening from COVID-related restrictions,” the report said.

He added that findings by the Department of Science and Technology on the antiviral properties of virgin coconut oil (VCO) against COVID could further increase consumption.

The Philippines is one of the main exporters of coconut oil. Among its main markets are the Netherlands, the United States, Malaysia and China, among others.

Meanwhile, the USDA has reported that copra meal production may also decline by 25,000 MT to 840,000 MT over the review period due to Odette.

Typhoon damage would also lead to a 5% drop in copra meal exports to 270,000 MT.

Some of the country’s main export markets for copra meal include South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan.

“After the forecast for the 2022/23 market year, feed consumption could fall by 10,000 MT to 570,000 MT compared to the previous year. Consumption is expected to fall due to the supply problem due to Typhoon Odette,” the USDA said.

Additionally, in the same report, it said that the Philippines may import more soybean meal in the 2022 to 2023 marketing year at 2.725 million metric tons, which is 3% more than the previous year, mainly due to higher demand for pig and poultry feed.

Soybean meal production is also expected to increase to 85,000 MT from 78,000 MT due to the expected gradual recovery of the swine industry from African swine fever.

He added that poultry production is also expected to increase the following year as the economy reopens following strict COVID-related restrictions.

“Animal feed consumption in the 2022/23 marketing year is set at 2.10 million metric tonnes, up 1.4% from the previous year’s level. Demand for swine and poultry feed is expected to rise as both sectors aim for greater production in the 2022/23 market year,” the USDA said.

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