According to Government sources, in 2022, Vietnam's coconut products reached an export turnover of more than 900 million USD. It is expected that the turnover in 2023 could approach 1 billion USD and exceed 1 billion USD in 2024.


A Brief Overview of History of Vietnamese Coconut


   For a long time, Ben Tre has been closely associated with coconut trees. Right from the end of the 19th century, Ben Tre had about 4 thousand hectares of coconut trees. By 1930, the area increased slightly, about 6 thousand hectares. During the Dong Khoi years, the coconut area began to grow strongly, reaching 20,834 hectares in 1961. Due to the impact of the war, by 1975, the whole province had only 16 thousand hectares of coconut left.


  Following the reunification of the country, there were many challenges and fluctuations in coconut cultivation. Nonetheless, by 1990, the coconut area had expanded to an extensive 41,863 hectares. Unfortunately, a period of decline followed due to low prices, leading farmers to replace their coconut gardens with other crops. In 1997, the coconut area shrank to 30,479 hectares. However, in subsequent years, there was a gradual restoration and strong development of coconut cultivation. By 2010, the total area surpassed the 50,000-hectare mark and reached an impressive 72,480 hectares in 2019, surpassing the target set by the Coconut Industry Development Program for 2020 of 70,000 hectares. As of now, the province's coconut area is approximately 80,000 hectares, with an annual output of nearly 700 million fruits.



   The significant growth of the coconut sector in Ben Tre can be attributed to the dedication of provincial leaders towards its development and the transformation of the processing industry in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This progress was further supported by the participation of foreign invested companies from Sri Lanka and Malaysia in coconut processing, as well as the local enterprises' efforts to adopt advanced processing technology from leading countries. The key products of the global coconut processing industry, such as desiccated coconut, coconut milk, canned coconut water, virgin coconut oil (VCO), activated carbon, and coconut fiber, have been successfully produced in Ben Tre.


Market Overview 2021-2022


  The landscape of coconut products in Vietnam has undergone a significant transformation. However, coconut oil behaves differently from other products. The global vegetable oil market points to price declines in 2022. High inventories and lower demand than supply have clearly put pressure on lauric oil prices. Coconut oil price from 2,064 USD/ton in April 2022 has decreased to 1,155 USD/ton in December 2022, equivalent to a decrease of 79%. Similarly, the price of palm kernel oil also has similar developments. Lauric oil prices have dropped sharply within 8 months, from 2,441 USD/ton in April 2022 to 1,067 USD/ton, a decrease of more than half within 8 months.

Source: International Coconut Community


  Nevertheless, the demand for oils has surged due to lower prices. The global market experienced a shock from the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, which led to an increase in oil demand. The rise in coconut oil shipments can be attributed to the combination of lower prices and higher supplies. Major importing countries such as the European Union and the United States witnessed a significant surge in their demand for oil. In fact, US coconut oil imports surged by over 14% between January and November 2022, reaching a staggering 498,314 tons. Similarly, European countries' oil imports reached 795,917 tons between January and September 2022. These imports were 14% higher than the exports recorded from January to September 2021. As a result, it is anticipated that total coconut oil exports to these regions will exceed 1.5 million tons.


KARA TRAN (from Sales Department)

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