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Philippines: exports continue to slide.

Philippines: Exports continue to slide

Philippine exports of coffee beans registered another decrease in calendar year 1989 compared to calendar year 1988, with only 25,837 metric tons worth US$43.9 million, representing declines of 1.97% and 11.36%, respectively, in volume and value.

Figures for calendar year 1988 were 26,348 metric tons and $49.53 million.

Export of soluble coffee showed an improvement in volume, from 137 metric tons in 1988 to 157 metric tons in 1989. The 1989 value, however, dropped by 1.18%, from the $593,000 total in 1988.

The same poor performance of whole bean exports is predicted for 1990, unless exporters redouble their efforts.

For the first half of 1990, only 6,593 metric tons of coffee worth $6.26 million had been shipped to 18 countries. This value represented only 20% of that for the same period in 1989.

The first half of 1990 has recorded for the soluble sector, 127 metric tons valued at $416,000,000.

Helen Alvarez, head of the export management division of the local International Coffee Organization Certifying Agency (ICOCA) under the Department of Trade and Industry, has predicted that the total export value of soluble coffee would reach one million dollars by year's end.

Alvarez based her optimism on the increasing demand for the commodity by importing countries led by Singapore, and some non-ICO member-countries.

Singapore was the #1 buyer of soluble coffee. It cornered 28% of the total export value of $593,000 in 1988, then 57% of the total value of $586,000 in 1989, and 55% of the total of $416,700 for the first half of 1990.

The top exporter of soluble coffee was General Milling Corp., manufacturer of Hils Bros. brand.

For the past two-and-a-half years, the U.S. topped the list of importing countries. This country bought a total of $55.8 million to lead 20 countries in 1988, 24 in 1989, and 18 for the first half of 1990.

The next top buyers during the period were: Singapore, two years, $14.9 million; Japan, $13.7 million; Australia, $5.2 million; West Germany, 1 1/2 years, $1.7 million; Canada, one year, $831,000; and Spain, half-year, $199,000.

Singapore has now emerged as the top market outside of the U.S. or Philippine coffee.

At the current world price of Robusta of $850 per metric ton (compared to $1,350 for the same period last year), the Philippines must ship out some 51,024 metric tons during the second half of 1990 to at least approximate its record in 1988. This volume plus the first half export of 6,593 metric tons would total 57,617 metric tons, or twice the volume exported in 1988. To attain this, exporters must redouble their trade offensive.

Meanwhile, exporters are making inroads in nontraditional markets. Nestle Philippines, Inc., Universal Robina Corp., and Leysam Commercial exported soluble and roasted coffee to Muscat Oman, Mina Qaboos, South Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.

In a related development, Antonio Reyes, executive director of the local ICO Certifying Agency, reported the accreditation of two more coffee exporters.

The entry of the two companies, Oriental and Occidental Co., Inc. of Makati, Metro Manila, and Gutierrez Coffee Trading of Batangas province, brought to 102 the present number of approved coffee exporters in the country.

Orlino Sol. Palacpac Philippines Correspondent
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Author:Palacpac, Orlino Sol.
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Sep 1, 1990
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