By: Joey Gabieta – @inquirerdotnet
Inquirer Visayas / 01:10 PM January 14, 2020

TACLOBAN CITY –– Eastern Visayas’ more than 371,000 coconut farmers have something to smile about.

The price of copra in the region has been on the upswing for almost three months now.

The trend is expected to continue due to the increase of copra price in the world market, said the regional office of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).

Based on the monitoring of the PCA, the copra price in the region is now at more than P20. As of Monday, January 13, the price of copra stands at P27.81.

The price of copra in the region plummeted to as low as P16.98 kilogram in the early part of 2019 but started to recover in November last year, at the average price of P18.

“We hope that the high price of copra will continue. In fact, oil millers are projecting that the price of copra could reach up to P40 per kilogram due to high demand in the world market,” said Benjamin Yu, PCA-8 regulatory officer.

Of the region’s average copra production of 320,000 metric tons, over 250,000 metric tons are shipped to the international market. The rest goes to the domestic market.

Of the six provinces in the region, Leyte has the biggest production at 1.5 million followed by Samar (272,617.48); Northern Samar (269.848.10); Eastern Samar (168,856.80); Biliran (144,081), and Southern Leyte (127,617.48).

When the region was pummeled by Super Typhoon “Yolanda” in 2013, among the sectors that were hard-hit was the coconut industry. More than 33 billion coconut trees were destroyed at that time.

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