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Philippines expects huge growth in abaca fibre exports
Jun '12
Seeing the growing demand for abaca fibre in the global market, the Philippines' Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) is expecting another year of record high growth in abaca fibre exports.

Last year, Philippines produced 73,274 metric tons of abaca fibre worth P2.92 billion. This constituted a 28.1 percent rise in volume and 52.6 percent growth in value over 2010 levels.

In 2011, Philippines exported a record US$ 140.27 million (P6.33 billion) worth of abaca fibres, showing a jump of 34 percent compared to exports worth US$ 104.534 million posted a year earlier.

Among abaca products, pulp was the highest foreign exchange earner in 2011, accounting for 74 percent of all earnings from abaca exports during the year. Pulp exports grossed US$ 104.4 million last year, depicting a year-on-year growth of 46 percent.

Japan, China and the UK are large markets for abaca fibre from Philippines. Besides these countries, pulp is also exported to Germany, France and the US. The US and some Asian countries are major importers of abaca cordage and ropes from Philippines.

Recently, Calamba City, Laguna-based Asia Textile Mills Inc. has started manufacturing of denims using 40 percent abaca and 60 percent polyester. The company has also developed fabrics that contain 10 to 40 percent abaca.

The abaca denims are currently being exported to Japan, but FIDA sees a great potential for the product in the world market. It will increase value-added abaca exports and also bring additional foreign exchange earnings for the country, FIDA said.

Over 107,000 farmers depend on abaca cultivation for their livelihood in the Philippines. They plant abaca on 172,524 hectares of farm land.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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