Why putting more coconut oil to local biodiesel is a timely measure

The Philippine coconut industry is getting more aggressive in terms of production and exports, but it seems that the structure is still not right for it to fully maximize gains in revenue.

Based on the latest information released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the country’s coconut product exports jumped to 43.6% in December 2018 compared to the figure in December 2018. However, gross export income dropped 9.9% in the same period to $139.9 million (P7.3 billion) from $155.21 million (P8.07 billion).

The culprit to this decline that has been affecting the industry for some time—low coconut oil prices in the market. This price fluctuation is influenced by the supply and demand in the global market of other leading vegetable oils (particularly, soybean, palm, corn, and rapeseed).

Bolstering local coco industry
During the first World Coconut Congress held in Manila in August 2018, the key players in the global coconut industry identified ways to help bolster coconut exports. (The 2nd Coconut Congress is set from August 27 to 29 this year at SMX in Pasay City.) “Local demand for coconut oil should be bolstered to help augment revenues lost for farmers due to external market forces,” said Dean Lao Jr., Chairman of the United Coconut Associations of the Philippines (UCAP).

One of the identified ways to boost local demand is to increase the coconut oil component in locally produced biodiesel to 5 percent (B5) from the current 2 percent (B2). For quite some time now, local industry stakeholders have been pushing for this move—which they claim will not only boost the revenue of farmers but will also do well for the environment.

The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is asking the National Biofuels Board (NBB) to fully implement Republic Act 9367 or the Biofuels Act of 2006, which requires a 5-percent blend of coco methyl ester in local biodiesel. According to Lao, implementation of this legislation will instantly strengthen the local coconut industry.

Second World Congress
This and more issues are set to be deliberated in the upcoming 2nd World Coconut Congress Conference and Exhibition to be held from August 27 to 29, 2019 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

Chemrez Biodiesel Plant

The Conference will also tackle important industry issues like supply and value chain management, best practices in coconut farming, oleochemicals situation and outlook, coconut marketing dynamics, and health and wellness.

For inquiries, call the United Coconut Associations of the Philippines at +632 584 5338 or World Expos & Concepts Inc. at +632 855-8341 to 44.