RP Jan coconut oil exports slump 80%


Posted at Feb 02 2009 08:28 PM | Updated as of Feb 03 2009 04:28 AM

Philippine coconut oil exports fell for the seventh straight month in January, shrinking nearly 80 percent from a year earlier, because of weak global demand and low stocks, preliminary data from an industry group showed on Monday.

Shipments from the Southeast Asian nation, the world's biggest exporter of coconut oil, slid to 25,020 tones in Jan. 1 to 28 from 121,766 tones in all of January 2008, the United Coconut Associations of the Philippines Inc (UCAP) said.

The industry group releases its complete preliminary monthly report three weeks after the end of the month.

Exports of coconut oil -- used in food, cosmetics and biodiesel -- are forecast to dip to 835,000 tones this year from 836,802 tones for the whole of 2008, UCAP said last month, citing increased demand for use as feedstock by local biodiesel producers and low stocks.

The Philippines exports 80 percent of its output of coconut oil. But it accounts for less than 5 percent of the global fats and oils market due to the drop in local production in the last two years and the growing popularity of other vegetable oils, such as palm.