Typhoons have battered the Philippines over the past year and the country's already vulnerable coconut trees took a hit even as demand for trendy coconut-based products is climbing.
"Tree damage is likely to accelerate the decline of the coconut production in the Philippines," said Jason Wong, a research analyst at Euromonitor, in an email. "Even after the typhoon, the rotting trees are likely to become infected with pests," he said, noting it may take several years for plantations to recover.
More than a tenth of the country's total coconut-tree population may have been damaged or destroyed, Hiroyuki Konuma, assistant director general for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, or FAO, said via email. He cited estimates from the United Coconut Associations of the Philippines (UCAP) that the archipelago's coconut oil exports may drop by nearly 25 percent this year.