Salago

Production and Market Scenario

SUPPLY

Hectarage

As of 2008, the Philippines has an approximate total land area of 751.1 hectares planted to salago, the largest of which is in Central Visayas having 694.1 hectares. The corresponding hectarage of salago-producing areas are as follows.

 
DISTRICT OF PRODUCTION
HECTARAGE
 
   
Southern Tagalog
2.0
 
   Marinduque
2.0
 
Western Visayas
55.0
 
   Aklan
40.0
 
   Antique
15.0
 
Central Visayas
694.1
 
Bohol
140.0
 
Cebu
426.1
 
Negros Orinetal
120.0
 
Siquijor
8.0
 
 
TOTAL
751.1
 

During the past ten years beginning 1999, production of salago fiber averaged 623 mt. Due to the two-year harvest cycle of salago, production of the fiber exhibited a fluctuating trend. Production was at its peak in 2001 recorded at 788 mt with Central Visayas as the major producing region. The lowest production level was in 2008 registered at 486 mt. 

Central Visayas, particularly Cebu, Negros Oriental, Bohol and Siquijor are the major producing areas contributing a ten-year average of 600 mt or 96.4% of the average national production during the period.

DEMAND

Domestic Consumption

Local processing of salago into pulp started only in 1985 but eventually stopped in 1990 due to limited supply of the fiber. According to a pulp company which pioneered in salago pulp production in the country, its salago requirement was 70 mt per month but was able to purchase only 60 mt annually. Most of the exporters would rather export their fibers since they are offered higher prices than those of domestic processors.  In 1998, however, processing of salago into pulp resumed in Cagayan de Oro City for the export market particularly in Taiwan but eventually stopped as Taiwan ceased its impportation.

From 1999 to 2008, domestic consumption which averaged 73 mt per year, showed a fluctuating pattern which is attributed to the irregular demand of buyers and the harvesting cycle of the plant which happens every two years. Salago fiber is used mainly by the local handmade papermakers.

Annual Domestic Consumption of Salago Fiber 1999 – 2008
YEAR
Domestic Consumption (in mt)
 
 
1999
138
 
2000
71
 
 
2001
46
 
 
2002
120
 
 
2003
50
 
 
2004
94
 
 
2005
51
 
 
2006
62
 
 
2007
38
 
 
2008
55
 
       
 
AVERAGE
73
 

Exports

During the ten-year period, the country exported an average of 506 mt of salago fiber valued at US $ 343,147.00. Thailand was the biggest buyer importing an average of 161 mt or 31.9% of the average export volume.  China, Taiwan and Japan have likewise regularly imported salago from the Philippines absorbing 28.3%, 21.1% and 18.3%, respectively, of the annual average exports.
 
From 1998 to 2001, an average export of 14 mt of salago pulp was made solely to Taiwan. From an initial 5 mt in 1998, export volume rose to 20 mt in 1999 but declined to only 10 mt in 2001 and eventually stopped in the following year. Average export earnings from salago pulp reached US$ 42,800.00 during this four-year period.