The shell product showed an increasing trend in all producing countries including Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and India. Price of coconut shell charcoal in Indonesia was US$412/MT in January 2017 and reached US$470/MT in July and stayed at that level until November 2017. Meanwhile, in Philippine price of the product was US$340/MT and ended up at US$449/MT in November 2017. In Sri Lanka, price of the product in January 2017 was US$356/MT and reached US$410/MT in November 2017. The increasing trend reflected a tight supply of the charcoal. The shortage was due to adverse effect of droughts in last few years worsened by competition with other coconut shell based products such as briquette, sisha, or fuel for boilers. An increase in export of whole coconut is also attributed to the lack of supply for coconut shell, especially in Indonesia.
As the price of shell charcoal increasing, activated carbon manufacturers started to adapt by raising their prices. Price of shell charcoal based activated carbon showed a rising trend in the second half 2017 after a relatively stable movement in the first half. In Indonesia, price of activated carbon started to go up in July 2017 after a stable trend since 2016. The export price of activated carbon from Indonesia was ranging from US$ 1,395/MT to US$ 1,681/MT with average of US$ 1,546/MT for the period of January-October 2017.
Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, though it showed a fluctuating movement, the price revealed an improving trend in the second half 2017. In May 2017, the price was US$1,879/MT and gradually increased to US$2,026/MT in October 2017.
Amid an increasing trend of the price, world demand of activated carbon is expected to strengthen in 2017. The trend was following a positive growth in the last decade. Global imports of activated carbon in 2006 was 0.55 million MT and jumped to 0.84 million MT in 2016 or increased by 54%. The average annual growth of world imports of activated carbon in the last decade was 4.9%. USA and Japan were the main importing countries of activated carbon in the global market. The two countries brought in 19% of the product from the global market in 2016.
Japan import of activated carbon was 70,781 MT in the period of January-October 2017 or increased by 5.4% opposed to that of previous year’s volume for the same period. Meanwhile, US import of activated carbon derived from coconut shell charcoal showed an increasing trend in the last 4 years. In 2014, US import of the product was 18.835 MT and jumped to 43,767 MT in 2015. The positive trend continued in 2016 when import of the activated carbon reached 45,358 MT. According to the latest data, US import of the product will rise in 2017. Until October 2017, 47,691 MT of activated carbon was shipped to the US. In the period, India was the main supplier for the commodity.42.7% of total US import of the product came from India in the said period. Other exporting countries were Philippine, Sri Lanka and Indonesia accounting for 17.5%, 13.5% and 8.4% of the total. India, Philippine, Sri Lanka and Indonesia are the major producing countries of shell charcoal based activated carbon. In the period of January-September 2017, India exported 72,113 MT of activated carbon valued at US$109.2 million meaning increase by 24.9% compared to the previous period. During the period, the market destinations of activated carbon from India were ranging from Africa to America. There were more than 100 countries which imported activated carbon from India. USA was the largest importing country accounting for 20,090 MT. Other major markets for India’s activated carbon were UK, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Russia, Germany, Netherlands, South Africa, and Italy. Export volume to those countries ranging from 2,503 MT to 4,435 MT. It is worth noting that during the period of April 2015-March 2016, export of activated carbon from India reached 56,997 MT spreading to 92 countries worldwide. Other major exporting country was the Philippines. Export volume of the commodity from the Philippines in the first quarter of 2017 showed an increase. During the period of January to August 2017, the Philippines shipped 48,609 MT of activated carbon to international market which was 30.7% higher compared to the corresponding period of previous year at 37,182 MT. The product was shipped to 51 various destinations. Germany, Japan and USA were the main destinations of activated carbon from the Philippines which absorbed more than 52% of total export volume of activated carbon from the Philippines. Sri Lanka, another main producing country, for activated carbon (AC) from coconut shell charcoal (CSC) also experienced an increase in demand for the product. In the period of January-September 2017, the accumulated export volume of coconut shell based activated carbon from Sri Lanka continued to rise following a positive growth in the last few years. In the period, total export volume of the product was 29,673 MT. The export was 13% higher than the previous year volume for the same period at 26,293 MT. Export of Sri Lanka’s coconut shell based activated carbon went to more than 65 countries worldwide. In the period more than 33% exports of activated carbon from Sri Lanka were shipped to Europe. Germany, Turkey, Estonia, Italy, and Sweden were the main destinations. America absorbed more than 34,9% export volume of Sri Lankan activated carbon and dominated by USA. More than 96% of Sri Lankan activated carbon that was sent to America headed to USA. For Asian countries, the exports of activated carbon from Sri Lanka were mainly shipped to China and Japan accounting for 50.4% of total import of the region. Unlike other major producing countries, Indonesian export of activated carbon since 2016 has been indicating a further decrease in the first half of 2017 following an easing trend in 2016. In the period of January- October 2017, export volume of the product dwindled from 19,117 MT in 2016 to 16,534 MT in 2017. Japan was the main destination of activated carbon from Indonesia. USA absorbed 4,098 MT or 25% of activated carbon from Indonesia during the period. Japan, Taiwan, China and Sri Lanka were other important destinations of the product. Indonesia generated an export earning of the commodity trade in the observed period at US$25.6 million.
Source: The COCOMMUNITY, VOL. XLVII NO. 12, 1 December 2017 - APCC