The Philippines’ 2016 coconut oil exports are expected to drop 11% from a year ago as an El Nino weather pattern crimps domestic output.
Lower shipments by the world’s top coconut oil supplier may underpin global prices of the commodity, which fell 6 percent last year when the Philippines’ exports exceeded industry forecasts. It may also boost demand for palm oil-based alternatives from top suppliers (Indonesia and Malaysia).
Total coconut oil exports by the Philippines are expected to hit 750,000 tonnes this year as per the Executive Director of the United Coconut Associations of the Philippines (UCAP), down from last years 840,000 tones.
The Philippines has suffered losses in crops, including rice and corn since last year because of the El Nino weather phenomena, which is caused sea-surface temperatures to rise in the Pacific and brings hot weather across Asia.
Current weather forecasts expect this weather phenomena to gradually weaken over the next three months, bringing relief to the country’s coconut industry that has batting falling output from ageing trees and damage from natural disasters over the last several years.
A “super “ typhoon that wreaked havoc in central Philippines in 2013 uprooted millions of coconut trees, cutting supply and pushing up prices of coconut oil and palm oil based alternatives. Prior to that, the country annual coconut oil exports averaged 990,000 tonnes between 2009 and 2013. Coconut oil is the Philippines top agricultural export.