Global demand for abaca drops by 3%
Lower demand for abaca from Asia and the US resulted in a 3 percent drop in export earnings from the fiber in the first 10 months of 2015, the Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) reported.
Total volume of abaca pulp exports slightly dropped to 18,753 MT from 18,962 MT.
Export volume fell in destinations except in Europe, where shipments rose 14 percent to 14,199 metric tons (MT).
The biggest decline in shipment volume came from the United States, with a 38 percent drop to 888 MT. Volume of shipments to Asia plunged by 27 percent to 3,666 MT.
The Philippines sells abaca products to the US, France, Belgium, China, Taiwan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.
Abaca is used in making tea bags, casing of meat sausages, surgical masks and cigarette paper.
Outbound shipments of fabrics and fiber crafts also declined by 53 percent and 70 percent, respectively.
Fabrics exports slid from $1.75 million in 2014 to $821,976. Fiber crafts exports dropped from $11 million in 2014 to $3.32 million.
Exports of cordage declined by 4.2 percent to $10 million.