Saturday, 15 September 2007

Coffee exports grow 27% in H1 of ’07

By Max V. de Leon
Original report at The Business Mirror
http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/0914&152007/economy04.html

COFFEE exports grew by 27 percent in the first half of the year to $3.35 million as the Philippines shifted its focus on the higher-value processed coffee, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported Thursday.

The volume of shipment also increased from 1.12 million kilograms in the first six months of 2006 compared with 1.33 million kilograms in the first semester of 2007.

The International Coffee Coordinating Agency (ICOCA), an attached agency of DTI, said the bulk of the volume was soluble coffee with a 99-percent share.

Japan emerged as the top export destination with 86 percent, trailed by Korea with 7 percent, Malaysia with 2 percent, Thailand with 2 percent and Greece with 2 percent.

The green beans variety, with only 0.37 percent of total volume, also went mostly to Japan with 95 percent and China with 5 percent.

Shipment of roasted coffee rose by 49 percent from 1,353 kilograms in 2006 to 2,020 kilograms in 2007.

The US is the top destination for Philippine roasted coffee with 94.70-percent share, followed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with 5.30 percent.

Trade Senior Undersecretary Thomas Aquino said the Philippines’ coffee exports sustained its growth in the last five years, reaching its peak in 2006 at $5.41 million.

Coffee exports amounted to $5.36 million in 2005, up 40 percent from 2004.

“We hope the sector could sustain its growth and continue to contribute to the growth of the export sector,” Aquino said.

ICOCA’s Special Export Authorization (SEA) program, meanwhile, accredited to two new exporters, the Vita Herbs Philippines Trading and Multiways Trading, bringing the total number of accredited exporters to date to 61.

Domestic coffee prices for Robusta green beans, meanwhile, showed a steady increase from January’s average of P77 per kilogram to P78 per kilogram in April, a jump to P83 in May and finally ending at almost P89 per kilogram by June 2007.

At these prices, it is expected many farmers would be encouraged to go back to coffee farming.

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