The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is calling on the National Biofuels Board (NBB) to raise the Coco Methyl Ester (CME) content of biodiesel sold in the domestic market to 5%.
The present blend of biodiesel currently in the country consists of 2% CME and 98% regular diesel.
“The increase could effectively support our coconut farmers and farmworkers whose livelihoods are threatened by the declining prices of crude coconut oil (CNO) in the international market,” said Romulo J. de la Rosa, a PCA administrator.
The price of CNO has declined by over 40% in the last few months because of a glut in supply in the world market of vegetable oils.
De la Rosa said: “The first increase can be from 2% to 3% starting August 1 this year,” he said. “This means that the biodiesel blend to be sold in the domestic market should have 3% CME and 97% regular diesel starting August 1.”
Philippine biodiesel has the lowest percentage of vegetable oil blended to regular diesel among Asean countries. Malaysia and Thailand mandate that the biodiesel sold in their markets should contain at least 7% palm oil. Indonesia’s is much higher at 20%.
The recommended August 1 deadline to increase the biodiesel CME content to 3% gives oil industry players time to procure their CME supplies and reset their blending ratios.
“The higher CME content in our biodiesel could significantly increase the demand for copra and CNO, making their prices more buoyant,” De la Rosa said.
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