Copra prices improving but millers still insist on B5 implementation

Published January 6, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin


Copra prices will continue to improve at least until the first three months of 2020, but millers are still insisting on the implementation of the increase of Coco Methyl Ester (CME) content on all fuels for the long-term development of the coconut industry.

Former Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Chief Romulo de la Rosa said copra prices will continue to improve until the three months of next year, following price recovery that took place in the latter part of 2019.

“Copra prices are starting to pick up,” Dela Rosa said. “Millers say it could go as high as ₱30 per kilogram by the first quarter of next year.”

Sometime in November, the price of copra improved to ₱25.50 per kilogram (/kg) at mill-gate, coming from the ₱12.00/kg to ₱17/kg price recorded earlier this year.

Right now, about 95 percent of the 3.5 million hectares of coconut farms in the country are meant to produce copra, which is used in manufacturing coconut oil.
But with the collapse of the prices of coconut oil in the market, prices of copra have also dropped to the detriment of the coconut farmers.

Dela Rosa earlier said that in order for farmers to make money, the farm-gate price of copra should not fall below ₱15/kg.

The recent increase in the price movement of copra, according to him, was supported by the move of Indonesia and Malaysia to increase their biodiesel blend to 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

“The move drove palm oil prices upwards which also pushed coconut oil prices up,” Dela Rosa said.

This is why, he said, the Philippines should also follow suit as the same thing, if done here, could further help the local coconut industry.

For many years, the coconut industry has been calling on the Philippine government to increase the percentage of biodiesel component blended in locally available diesel to 5 percent from the current level of 2 percent, known in the industry as B5.