Coconut Oil: Why Are Prices Rising?


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Coconut oil is used for a variety of things including cooking and hygiene. Many people have discovered that coconut oil can be used to condition hair, treat acne, moisturize skin, and even replace tooth paste.

The sudden popularity of coconut oil has caused the U.S. to use more coconuts than ever and most of the time, coconut exporters have no problem meeting the demands for them.

Typhoon Haiyan has changed all that and after it hit the Philippines, it destroyed many of the country's coconut trees. Over 40% of the coconuts imported to the U.S. come from the Philippines.

The country was hit in 2013 by Typhoon Haiyan. The typhoon destroyed 10% of the country's coconut trees, causing coconut exports to fall to 143,870 tons in January and February of this year.

The fewer coconuts that are available to send to the U.S, the higher the prices of coconut oil will rise. Coconut prices have already skyrocketed since the typhoon and growers are saying it could take a while for the industry to recover and for prices to come down.

"It will take several years for the supply to normalize (even) if we replant what has been lost during the typhoon," the United Coconut Association of the Philippines executive director, Yvonne Agustin, said.

"We are of course projecting a reduction in volume this year, and that would lead to increased prices in the world market."

Coconuts are currently trading at $1,445 a ton. Last year, the trading price was $810 a ton. Since so many products including soaps and household cleaners require coconut oil as a main ingredient, it is likely the prices of these items will rise as well.

Are you worried that the price of coconuts and coconut oil will continue to skyrocket?

Image via Wikimedia Commons