Dried Fruit

Desiccated coconuts: challenges are increasing

November 8, 2023 at 11:22 AM , Der AUDITOR
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MANILA. After El Niño led to severe drought in the Philippines, which has already affected the quantity and quality of this year's coconut crop, the upcoming typhoon season could lead to further declines in production. If the expected increase in global demand materialises, supplies might get tight.

Extreme weather hits the Philippines

The fourth quarter, which plays an important role due to the global holidays, also poses further challenges for market players in the Philippine coconut industry, as the experts at T.M. Duché report. According to the Philippine weather bureau PASAGA, the weather phenomenon El Niño in particular is likely to continue to cause major problems. While El Niño mainly caused a severe drought in the first half of the year, which reduced the yield of this year's crop and impaired the quality of the coconuts due to pest infestation and disease, the island nation now has to expect tropical typhoons until 2024. PASAGA states that the risk of this is particularly high between November 2023 and January 2024. The typhoons regularly cause major damage, not only to the coconut palms themselves, but also to the infrastructure in the Philippines, meaning that workers are often unable to reach the plantations or factories. All of this has an impact on production. There is then a risk that the effects of El Niño could lead to another dry first half of the year 2024.

Expected decline in production

T.M. Duché also reports that the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP) estimates this year's coconut production at 2.1 million mt, a 6.9% drop compared to the 2.26 million mt harvested last year. The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is attempting to mitigate the effects of El Niño through various measures, such as providing market players with water pumps, fertilisers and seedlings for the affected areas. However, as a global increase in demand is expected, these measures may not be enough to meet the high demand in 2024, and the decline in production is likely to lead to price increases. The experts add that December is a short production month, as the factories are closed over the Christmas holidays, so delays in shipments are to be expected.

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