28/08/2007 (The Manila Buletin Online) - The Philippines is foreseen to import 150,000 metric tons (MT) of palm oil this year, three times its usual import volume for several years amid increased industrial activity domestically.
Local consumption of palm oil is even projected to reach a peak of 290,000 MT by 2010.
This is why the Philippine Palm Oil Development Council (PPODC) has estimated that the Philippines needs a total of 110,000 hectares planted to the oil palm tree in order to achieve palm oil self-sufficiency.
At present, palm oil area is placed at 65,000 hectares.
United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP) chairman Danilo M. Coronacion said it has been a productive policy of the government to expand palm oil as a complementary crop to coconut.
"There’s no competition between palm oil and coconut oil. Our policy is complementary. Palm oil is for edible goods, and coconut oil is for edible, industrial, and pharmaceutical uses," he said.
At present, local consumption is reaching to 200,000 to 210,000 MT of which between 50,000 to 60,000 MT are sourced from local farms. For several years up to 2003-2004, the Philippines has been consuming only about 100,000 to 110,000 MT of palm oil yearly of which half was being imported.