Coco water exports post growth spurt

Posted on June 01, 2012

COCONUT WATER exports surged in the first quarter from the comparative year-ago period on the back of strong demand from overseas markets, said the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) yesterday.

PCA Administrator Euclides G. Forbes said in a statement that export earnings of the commodity spiked by 260.56% in the first three months to $4.78 million from $1.33 million in 2011.

Based on volume, the product posted a 300% increase to 4.498 million liters from 1.125 million liters.

Exports to the United States posted the highest earnings worth $3.94 million in the period, up by 426.75% from last year’s $748,076. Volume of shipments also rose by 367.37% to 3.72 million liters from 796,887 liters.

Coconut water exports to the Netherlands, meanwhile, were at 189,800 liters valued at $208,602, from last year’s 32,000 liters worth $28,000.

The PCA further said that shipments to Australia rose to 65,219 liters from 362.55 liters, translating to a 391.93% growth in earnings, which came in at $80,430.

"[This] year’s coco water export figures will even exceed that of total 2011 figures which registered 16.68 million liters in volume and $15.11 million in value considering that international demand for coco water continues to rise as more people turn health-conscious," said Mr. Forbes.

The official touted the benefits of coconut water, which, he said, is a natural beverage that is rich in potassium and magnesium and a good source of electrolytes and glucose.

"[Coco] water contains a considerable amount of vitamin B such as thiamine which aids in strengthening the muscles, delaying fatigue and maintaining normal heart function," he added.

As international demand for coconut products and byproducts is expected to increase, Mr. Forbes said there is a need to plant more coconut trees.

For its part, the PCA is committed to the implementation of programs involving planting, replanting and fertilization of coconut farms to increase coconut productivity, he noted.

"The programs have the farmers as active participants and partners in the development process," Mr. Forbes said.

He further said the PCA’s programs are set to generate new job opportunities for coconut farmers -- Bettina Faye V. Roc