In recent years, coconut and its derivative products have gained great popularity in the world market. However, this segment faces great risks, which are an opportunity for Mexico.
Coconut is a an edible fruit from which producers can extract an oil that has gained popularity around the world, which has increased its demand.
The coconut tree is useful for its wood, leaves and fruit, from which water, pulp, and fibers are extracted for different sectors of the industry.
The main coconut producing countries are in Asia: the Philippines, Indonesia, and India account for 71 percent of global production. But they face a serious problem: the ageing of plants, which have a productive life of between 30 and 40 years. As a result, their production will decrease by more than 80 percent in the next decade.
Given the decline of coconut production in the Asian region, the problem is demand is increasing. According to a CNBC report, the demand for fresh coconuts grew by 25 percent between 2012 and 2017.
This global problem represents an opportunity for Mexican producers. According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development and Fisheries (Sagarpa), between 2013 and 2016, coconut production in the country grew by 9.2 percent.
During the past year, Mexico produced 221 thousand tons of coconut. The country ranks eighth worldwide in this production, and its coconut trees are young compared to those of the Asia Pacific region.
The opportunity for Mexican producers is already visible and in recent years new brands of coconut water and coconut chips have emerged. We will have to wait to know if the sector takes a more predominant role in the industrial area.