Output of industrial crops mostly higher in fourth quarter

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abaca warehouse
Dried abaca is prepared for bailing at a warehouse in Sarangani. -- PRDP.DA.GOV.PH/FREDABREA

PRODUCTION of abaca, coconut, coffee, rubber, and tobacco increased while sugarcane production decreased during the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

According to the recently-published Major Non-Food and Industrial Crops Quarterly Bulletin, the PSA said that abaca fiber production rose 6.7% year-on-year to 18.06 thousand metric tons (MT).

Bicol was the top producer of abaca at 7.39 thousand MT, accounting for 40.9% of total output, followed by Eastern Visayas with 16.7% and Davao Region, 12%.

Coconut output rose 2.7% year-on-year to 4.03 thousand MT, with the Davao region accounting for 12.8%, followed by Northern Mindanao at 12.2% and Zamboanga Peninsula at 10.8%.

Output of coffee in dried berry form was 29.60 thousand MT, up 0.8% year-on-year.

According to PSA, SOCCSKSARGEN was the top producer of coffee at 10.70 thousand MT or 36.4% of the total, followed by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with 21.6%, and Davao Region 16.7%.

Robusta coffee was the most-produced variety, composing 71.3% of the total, followed by Arabica with 23.7%, Excelsa 4.1% and Liberica 0.9%.

Rubber output in cup lump form was 142.72 thousand MT, up 3.2% year-on-year, with SOCCSKSARGEN accounting for 42.7% of the total, followed by Zamboanga Peninsula with 41.4%, and ARMM with 6.7%.

Tobacco output rose 14.9% year-on-year to 1.10 thousand MT despite fears that new taxes will depress production with Virginia tobacco accounting for 60.1% and native tobacco 39.9%.

Output of sugarcane, which may also come under pressure because of proposals to liberalize imports, declined 2.2% year-on-year to 7.03 million MT. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio