Global coconut oil demand to exceed exports this year

Jakarta, Jan 28 | Updated: Jan 29 2008, 05:55am hrs
Global demand for coconut oil used in making cooking oil, beauty creams and bio-fuels, may exceed exports by as much as 320,000 metric tonne in the first half of the year, helping boost prices, according to a producers group.

Coconut oil exports will rise by a fifth to 980,000 tons in the first half of 2008 from a year earlier, while demand will be 1.3 million tons, according to a report by Amrizal Idroes, marketing officer at the Jakarta-based Asian and Pacific Coconut Community, representing the 15 biggest producing countries.

The shortfall in supply may boost the average price of the commodity in January through June by a fifth to at least $1,200 a tonne, including freight costs, from a year earlier, he said. The Philippines and Indonesia are the worlds two-biggest exporters. Coconut oil for delivery in Rotterdam averaged $1,153 a tonne in December, up 58% from a year-earlier month, according to the US Foreign Agricultural Service. It traded at $1,265 a tonne, including freight costs, on January 24, according to data from the Coconut Community.

Stockpiles will gradually decrease to meet consumption, Idroes said. The monthly average inventory of lauric oils, including coconut oil and palm oil, in Rotterdam dropped 51% to 19,308 tonne in 2007 from a year earlier, after output and exports of coconut oil from the Philippines, which accounts for 60% of global supply, fell last year, Idroes said.

The global stockpile of coconut oil is estimated at 144,000 tonne this month, he said, without providing a comparative figure.