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Saturday, Feb 07, 2004

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Strike chokes eucalyptus oil trade

P.S. Sundar

Coonoor , Feb. 6

EUCALYPTUS oil trade in the country has come to a standstill, with producers intensifying their stir by launching hunger strikes.

The bulk of the oil used by the pharmaceutical industry comes from the Nilgiris. With the Nilgiri producers refusing to distil oil since January 21 for the prices offered by the dealers, the supply has been choked.

The producers are demanding Rs 230 a litre against Rs 185 being offered by the dealers. But the dealers have clearly told them that with the oil from China being available for Rs 140 a litre in Mumbai, they cannot pay a higher price.

"In fact, we are paying Rs 45 a litre more than the Chinese oil. Many of our consumers, including multinational companies, have started importing cheaper oil from China. So the demand for the Nilgiri oil has fallen drastically. How can we pay Rs 230 a litre in these circumstances?" questioned Mr Shakul Hameed, Joint Secretary of the Nilgiris Eucalyptus Oil Manufacturers' Association, the apex body of licensed dealers.

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Strike chokes eucalyptus oil trade

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