Despite the unstable status of copra production in Northern Mindanao, copra price went up in the months of January and February this year compared to the same period of 2007. Philippine coconut Authority (PCA) coconut production and regulation officer Grato Felicilda said in Northern Mindanao, the price of copra increased to P30.33 per kilo compared to February 2007 in which the copra price was only pegged at P27.11. Shortage of copra supplies is considered the main factor of the increase, and since the oil price will depend in the world market, the demand will also grow up.
"Small oil mills are the ones that run after the price specially if they can't buy copra from the market", stated Felicilda. He said small oil mills are more aggressive in creating good price to the extent of contracting directly the coconut farmers even without the product yet, and the continuous demand of the commodity is said to have contributed to the continuous rising up of price. However, Felicilda forewarned that anytime the copra price would plunge depending on the markets' demands. The same things are happening in other regions with coconut farms.
In Misamis Oriental, there are 101,698 hectares of coconut farms, but most of the coconut trees were already more than 60 years and are less productive. "As of now coconut farmers will still enjoy the rising up of copra price", Felicilda said. Farm gate price of copra during the current year increased by 43% compared to the same period in 2006. From the average of P14.17 per kilogram in 2006, it went up to P20.28 per kilo in 2007. The price of copra at mill gate also went up by 43% from P16.49 per kilogram in 2006 to P23.58 per kilogram in 2007 due to power outages.