Market Review of Coconut Shell Charcoal
December 2022

Amid global economic uncertainty, international trade of activated carbon showed a positive performance until the third quarter of 2022. During the period January-October 2022, global imports of activated carbon is estimated to reach more than 1 million tons. US, the largest importer, received 56,330 tons of coconut shell based activated carbon during January-October 2022 which was 52% higher than the volume in January-October 2021. At the same time, another main importing country, Japan, experienced a slight increase in import volume of the carbon. During the period, Japanese imported 71,908 tons of activated carbon to the country. The volume was 1.6% higher than the import volume in the preceding year for the same period. The export performance of the carbon in several main producing countries indicated a positive signal until the third quarter of 2022. In the period of January-October 2022, India exported 131,634 tons of activated carbon valued US$266.7 million which was 26% higher than export volume a year earlier with USA as a major destination. USA absorbed more than 19% of Indian activated carbon during the period. Other major destinations of activated carbon from India were Sri Lanka, Germany, Turkey, South Korea, Italy, and Netherlands.

At the same time, Sri Lanka shipped 47,240 tons of coconut shell charcoal based activated carbon to the global market creating export earnings of US$118.4 million. The export earning rocketed by more than 91% as opposed to previous year’s volume. Main destinations for the activated carbon from Sri Lanka include USA, China, Germany, UK and Japan. The increase in export of activated carbon was also found in the Philippines. During period of JanuaryAugust 2022, Philippines shipped 65,900 tons of the activated carbon to global market. The volume jumped by 35% as opposed to the 2021’s export volume of 48,724 tons. Major importing countries of the product from Philippines were Japan, China, Germany, USA, and South Korea. Similarly, export of activated carbon from Indonesia showed a sign of recovery. During January-October 2022, export of activated carbon from Indonesia was 21,687 tons which was 13% higher than the export volume during JanuaryOctober 2021. The export resulted in export earnings of US$36.2 million. Price of coconut shell charcoal remained low in the last quarter of 2022. Price of the charcoal in several producing countries showed a downward trend. In November 2022, price of coconut shell charcoal in Philippines was US$373/MT which was 13% lower than price in December 2021. Similarly, price of the charcoal in Sri Lanka showed the same pattern. Lower demand worsened by economic crisis in the country negatively affected price movement of the charcoal. Price of coconut shell charcoal in Sri Lanka deeply fell to the level of US$355/MT in November 2022 from US$531/MT in December 2021. The price in November 2022 was recorded as the lowest since July 2018. In India, price of the charcoal was also showing a negative trend. The price was US$531/MT in December 2021 and gradually weakened to US$398/ MT in November 2022. In Indonesia, price of the charcoal was decreasing as well amid higher supply of the charcoal. Price of the charcoal in factory gate dropped by 25% during January-November 2022. 

Meanwhile, export price of activated carbon relatively fluctuated during first half of 2022. Price of the carbon in Indonesia was US$1,801/ MT in January 2022 and then decreased to US$1,539/MT in April 2022. The price then went up to US$1,811/MT in July 2022 and again weakened to US$1,686/MT in October 2022. Meanwhile, price of the carbon in Sri Lanka was US$2,834/MT in January 2022 and declined to US$2,685/MT in March 2022. However, the price then went up again to the level of US$3,009/MT in July 2022 and declined again to US$2,820/MT in October 2022.