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Philippines' Dec coconut oil exports down 18.3 pct y/y after typhoon

MANILA, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Exports of coconut oil from the Philippines, the world's top supplier of the commodity, fell 18.3 percent in December after a strong typhoon toppled about 3 million trees and destroyed milling facilities, industry data showed on Monday.

Tight supply has driven up prices, now at $1,275 a tonne in Rotterdam from around $1,260 in December.

The Southeast Asian country shipped 82,734 tonnes of coconut oil in December versus 101,317 tonnes in the same month a year prior, the United Coconut Assocations of the Philippines (UCAP) said in a report.

Full-year exports rose 32.2 percent to 1.126 million tonnes, exceeding UCAP's forecast of 1.1 million.

Nearly two-thirds of last month's shipment of the Philippines' top farm export product went to Europe, with the United States taking 37 percent and the rest sold to Japan.

The massive destruction of coconut trees when Typhoon Haiyan hit the central Philippines in November could squeeze global supply for years and push up prices of the commodity used to make products ranging from fuel to health drinks.

Despite higher prices, UCAP said revenue from coconut oil exports in December fell 20.4 percent to $73.9 million due to low volume. (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)