Market Review Coconut Shell Charcoal
April 2021

A supply shortage amid a high demand of coconut shell charcoal has been pushing price of coconut shell charcoal to stay strong. In Indonesia, the domestic price of coconut shell charcoal in Indonesia has been increasing since last quarter of 2019. The price was US$ 464/MT in December 2019 and kept increasing to the level of US$596/MT in March 2021. A shortage in supply of coconut shell charcoal seems to prolong in Indonesia attributed to lower coconut production deteriorated by an increase in export of dehusked coconut. An increase in coconut shell charcoal price was also perceived in Philippines, India, and Sri Lanka. In Philippines, price of the product was US$ 315/MT in December 2019 and reached US$ 493/MT in March 2021. Similarly, price in Sri Lanka went up from US$ 386/MT in December 2019 to US$ 557/MT in March 2021. Similar trend is also found in India. Price of coconut shell charcoal was steadily increasing from US$ 372/MT in December 2019 to US$ 621/MT in March 2021.

Price of activated carbon showed a minor decreasing trend both in Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The average of export price in Indonesia during January-December 2020 was USD1,444/MT which was lower by 10.9% against average price in 2019.  Similarly, export price of the commodity from Sri Lanka decreased in 2020 with a monthly average of USD2,322/MT or 3.2% lower as opposed to the 2019 price.

Amid the global market uncertainty. import of the activated carbon by USA and Japan was slowing down in 2020. In the period of January-December 2020 Japan import of activated carbon fell by 11.5% to 77,053 MT against the previous year’s volume of 87,041 MT. Japan experienced lower demand of the product for two consecutive years. It is worth noting that Japan experienced a decrease in import of activated carbon in 2019 after an increasing trend in the previous four years. Average annual growth of the import was 0.7% for the last decade. Meanwhile in the same period, US import of activated carbon derived from coconut shell charcoal shrank as well. US Census Bureau recorded import of the product was only 44,779 MT or dropped by 14% as compared to previous year’s volume. The import was the lowest in the last five years.

Although imports of activated carbon by several main buying countries were decreasing, shipments of the product from India were increasing. In the period of January-December 2020, India shipped 108,742MT of activated carbon to the global market creating export earnings of US$188.31 million. The export leveled up by 6.67% as opposed to previous year’s volume of 101.945 MT valued US$172.62 million. USA is still the main destination for activated carbon from India. USA absorbed more than 17.5% of Indian activated carbon during 2020. Other major destinations of activated carbon from India were Sri Lanka, Germany, South Korea, Russia, Japan, and Italy.

Similarly, export volume of activated carbon from Sri Lanka showed an increase during January-December 2020. During the period, Sri Lanka loaded 45,306 MT activated carbon to various countries. The volume was 6.9% higher than the volume in the previous year. USA is still major destination for coconut shell based activated carbon from Sri Lanka. USA received more than 32% of export of Sri Lankan activated carbon during the period. Other major destinations include China, Japan, UK, Germany, and Turkey.

Meanwhile, Philippines experienced a drawback of its export of activated carbon in 2020. Export volume of the commodity from the Philippines during January-December 2020 was 76,979 MT. The export volume dwindled by 1.5% as opposed to the previous year’s volume for the same period. Asia, Europe, and America continent are still main destinations for coconut shell charcoal based activated carbon from Philippines. USA is a traditional market for coconut products from Philippines. Asia, Japan, Sri Lanka, China, and South Korea were the major destinations for activated carbon from Philippines. Meanwhile, Germany and Netherlands were main importing countries in Europe.