Coconut oil topped Mindanao exports in 2006 – MEDCo

Coconut oil export accounted for 21 percent or $P319 million of Mindanao's total export value at US$ 1.5 billion, as of 2006 3rd quarter.

About 80 percent of local coconut production goes to the export market and the remaining 20 percent to the domestic market, the Department of Agriculture said.

Forty-eight percent the country's coconut is planted in Mindanao, which yields 56 percent (8.1 million tons) of the country's production.

Coconut oil, copra, copra meal and desiccated coconut are the Philippines’ traditional coconut product exports. The country also exports 39 other non-traditional coconut product and by-products.

Coconut oil accounts for 85 to 95 percent of the total coconut exports by volume and 80 percent by value.

Fresh banana came next with 20 percent at $298 million, which is 21 percent higher than its 2005 performance of $246 million.

Virgilio Leyretana, MEDCO chair, said Mindanao's economy grew within the 4.5 to 4.7 percent range last year due to sustained growths in the agriculture and service sectors and exports.

Mindanao's exports grew by 15 percent, the report said.

Other top export commodities from Mindanao included sintered iron ore agglomerates (7.9 percent), preserved and fresh pineapples (7.9 percent) and tuna (5.9 percent).

The report also attributed the growth rate in the island to environmental factors such as the absence of typhoons and the non-occurrence of the EL Niño phenomenon.

The report said the sustained increases in export revenues despite peso appreciation reflect enhanced competitiveness of agricultural products in terms of quality in the international markets. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)