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 Philippines sees higher 01 coconut output

Philippines sees higher 01 coconut outputMANILA, Feb 12 (Reuters) - The Philippines said on Monday it expected agood harvest of coconuts this year and next, limiting the recovery of theprice of coconut oil in the world market. Philippine Coconut Authority(PCA) administrator Eduardo Escueta told reporters the full impact of arecurrence of the El Nino weather pattern, which local meteorologists saymay hit the country in the fourth quarter, would only be felt by 2003. ElNino is the Pacific weather phenomenon blamed for causing drought inSoutheast Asia in 1998.Escueta said the Philippines, the world's largest exporter of coconut oil,was likely to produce between 2.2 and 2.3 million tonnes of coconuts incopra terms this year from about 2.0 million in 2000. Copra is driedcoconut meat from which oil is extracted. "In terms of production, it willstill be good in 2002," Escueta said, adding it takes at least a year forcoconut farms to show the impact of an El Nino.Escueta said he expected coconut oil exports to reach between 1.2 and 1.3million tonnes in 2001 with prices averaging $350-400 per tonne at FOB,from an estimated 1.1 million tonnes with prices averaging $300-325 pertonne FOB last year.The expected recovery in price, despite increase in supply, is due toconsumers resuming purchases of coconut oil. Last year, buyers switched toother vegetable oils on fears of lower production from the Philippines,Escueta said. Escueta said the PCA would release actual copra output for2000 later this month, and the government's updated forecast for thisyear.


Vegetable oil traders dubbed as conservative the government's copra outputforecast this year. Last month, the United Coconut Associations of thePhilippines (UCAP) projected the country's coconut output to rise to 2.59million tonnes in copra terms this year from an estimated 2.48 million in2000.The industry group also forecast exports of coconut oil to surge to 1.22million tonnes this year from the year-ago estimate of 980,679 tonnes.Traders also disagree with Escueta's forecast of a possible recovery inthe price of coconut oil in the world market this year. "It defies thesupply-demand scenario," said one trader. The trader, who requestedanonymity, said he expected coconut oil prices in the world market to belower this year compared with last year because of higher exports from thePhilippines and Indonesia, the world's second largest shipper. "Coconutoil prices will be lower than last year because of the ample supplies notonly of coconut oil but other oils, including palm and palm kernel oil,"the same trader said. UCAP, which represents local millers, refiners andtraders, has forecast Philippine coconut oil to fetch an average price of$324.59 per tonne FOB in the world market this year from last year'sestimate of $432.34 per tonne.Major buyers of coconut oil are the United States and Europe.

Coconut oil CIF Rotterdem - (Feb)US$280.00Palm kernel oil CIF Rotterdem - (Feb) US$260.00

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