Growth in the coconut industry is apparent after data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Friday showed that of the 10 major commodity groups in terms of the value of exports, coconut oil recorded the highest annual increase of 76.9 percent.
Cathodes and sections of cathodes and refined copper (56 percent), and chemicals (53.7 percent) were the next top performers.
The country’s total external trade likewise increased.
“For October 2021, the total external trade amounted to USD16.84 billion. It grew at an annual rate of 15.2 percent. In the previous month, the annual increase was recorded at 17.1 percent, while a decline of minus 10 percent was recorded in October 2020,” the PSA data stated.
By commodity group, electronic products continued to be the top export in October with total earnings of USD3.65 billion, or 57 percent of the total exports during the period.
This was followed by other manufactured goods with an export value of USD350.18 million (5.5 percent) and other mineral products worth USD298.48 million (4.7 percent).
Exports to China comprised the highest export value amounting to USD1.01 billion or a share of 15.8 percent of the total exports in October.
Other major export trading partners with their export values and percentage shares were the US with USD962.31 million or 15 percent, Hong Kong with USD865.62 million (13.5 percent), Japan at USD859.67 million (13.4 percent), and Singapore at USD390.59 million (6.1 percent).
The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) reported earlier that coconut oil and crude coconut oil are two of the top US imports from the Philippines.
Commissioner Eric Elnar of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Los Angeles, California previously said the Philippines accounts for 60 percent of US coconut oil imports and 73 percent of US crude coconut oil imports.
The rise in demand was due to changes in US trade policy, market trends, and dietary guidelines, he explained.
For one, a surge in consumption followed the withdrawal of US guidance that implicated coconut as a source of allergies.
Market demand for organic products and improved awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle also contributed to the coconut oil boom.
“To meet the changing market demand, the office took advantage of the online shopping market trend that had become mainstream during the pandemic, while still maintaining distribution among traditional physical stores selling coconut products. Another avenue tapped was the growth of the reseller market led by Filipino-Americans running micro, small and medium enterprise caravans,” the PCA said in a previous statement.