March 2018

            Coir industry, in general, keeps showing a positive growth in global market especially for value added products. Currently global trade of coir fibre and its value added products such as yarn, matting, rugs and carpet as well as geo textile is estimated worth more than one billion US dollar. Approximately more than 85% of the total exports are sent from India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia as the main producers, and the rest are shared by Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia. The strength of India in its domestic demand was well combined with the growth of its export which was only 1% of the world export in 1996, and increased to 11% in 2002 and then doubled to 25% in 2013. The latest figure shows that its export volume increased by more than 27% in 2016-2017. While in 2017, Sri Lanka’s export increased by 11% in value in the period of January to December. The export was dominated by finished products such as fibre pith, moulded coir products and coir broom and brushes which contributed more than 82% of the total export. India and Sri Lanka emphasize more on value added products. Meanwhile, Indonesia is still struggling to develop its coir industry which currently mainly produces raw fibre. China is still a major importing country for coir products as its current share in the global market is more than 50% of the world import and still improving though in limited pace.

                Exports of coir products from Indonesia were dominated by an unfinished coir product, coir fibre. Export of coir fibre from Indonesia in the period of January-December 2017 was 31,136 MT, valued US$ 8.32 million. The total export volume declined by more than 6% compared to the volume of previous year for the same period. China was the major importing country for coir fibre from Indonesia. China absorbed 25,152 MT or 80.8% of Indonesia’s export of coir fibre in the period. Other destinations for coir fibre from Indonesia were South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore. The export of raw coir fibre in bales was almost the only coconut coir products from Indonesia shipped to the global market in the observed period. Exports of other coir products were significantly low both in volume and value.

               In 2017, Sri Lanka export revenue from coir products was more than 196 million US dollar or increased by 11% compared to the previous year. Coco pith contributed the highest revenue of Sri Lanka coir products which accounted for 35.24% of the total export revenue. Japan was still a major importer of Sri Lanka’s coir pith. Coco pith which was mostly used as agriculture planting media, fertilizer, animal feed and sometimes bedding for the animal pens. In the period of January- December 2017 Japan imported 45,082 tons or 22.2% of the Sri Lanka’s total export of coco pith at 202,720 tons. Other major markets of Sri Lankan coco pith included South Korea, China, Mexico, USA, Iran, Spain and UK. They imported coco pith ranging from 23,814 tons to 9,290 tons during the period. The combined import volume of coco pith from those countries was 129,734 tons or 64% of Sri Lanka’s total export of coco pith. Compared to the previous year, export volume of coco pith demonstrated a positive growth of 9%. Furthermore, in the same period, rubberized coir pads & mattress for bedding were the Sri Lankan coir products that showed the highest increase in volume compared to the same period in the previous year. The products recorded 115% increase in volume from 247,234 pcs in 2016 to 532,037 pcs in 2017.

                 Exports of coir products from India continue to grow as the global market for coir and coir products is improving. The latest data from Coir Board of India show that in the period of January-September 2017, a total quantity of 791,227 MT of coir and coir products were shipped from India globally. The export valued at Rs. 188,515 lakhs or equal to US$ 289.93 million. Such export revenue increased by 10.1% from the previous year. The revenue might still be improving due to a growing demand from importing countries, such as China and USA for coir and coir products from India.

                 India as a leading exporter country sends 14 coir product categories to the world market. These include semi finished products such as coir yarns, loom mats and mattings, and rubberized coir to finished products like geo-textiles, coir rugs and carpets. In the period of January-September 2017, export volume of coir products from India was recorded at 791,277 tonnes or went up by 10.73 from 714,591 tonnes for the same period in 2016. Exports of coir products from India were still dominated by coir pith and coir fibre. The two coir products constituted for 91% of the total export volume of coir products. In the period, coir fibre grew by 38.7% to 333,973 tonnes from 240,721 tonnes in 2016. Meanwhile, coir pith dwindled by 4.3% in the same period. Coir other sorts recorded the highest export growth accounting for 200.9% in volume and 161.6% in value. USA, Netherland, China, South Korea, Spain and Italy were the main destination of coir pith from India with the shares of 18.3%, 17.4%, 15.2%, 11.3%, 7.7% and 4.3% respectively.

As global demand showed a positive growth, a reverse trend of price coir fibre revealed in the second half of 2017. After experiencing a decreasing trend from 2016 to the first half of 2017, price of coir showed a reverse trend in the second half of 2017. The increasing trend seems to persist in the first half of 2018.  In Sri Lanka, the average price of raw fibre started to rise in May 2017 to US$ 119/MT and reached US$190/MT in October 2017 and remained stable until December 2017. The price further increased to US$198/MT in February 2018. While the price of coir fibre in Indonesia started to regain in August 2017 of US$238/MT and reached US$315/MT in October 2017. The price continued to go up in the beginning of 2018 to the level of US$348/MT.