Lack of upcountry demand and low prices of other edible oils hampered the coconut oil market in Kerala this week.

Prices fell to Rs 60.50 per kg in Kerala against Rs 61 quoted last week, while in Tamil Nadu the rates fell to Rs 55.50 per kg from Rs 58 per kg.

Bharat N. Khona, former Board Member, Coconut Oil Merchants’ Association (COMA) said that unless and until the Government shows interest in copra procurement, there will not be any response in the market.

Corporate buying was also less and they are not operating in a big way. This is particularly because of lower prices of other edible oils, he said.

Palm oil prices stood at Rs 58 per kg (Rs 60) and palm kernel oil at Rs 57 per kg (Rs 56) and the low prices resulted in more availability of edible oils in the market.

Copra prices in Kerala were ruling at Rs 4,150 per quintal (Rs 4,200), while in Tamil Nadu the rates were at Rs 3,900 (Rs 3,800 per quintal).

Thalath Mahamood, President, COMA, said that the market is going in a steady level but was sluggish.

It will further improve, once the government intervenes in the market for copra procurement. The forthcoming Diwali season is likely to witness some improvements next month especially from North India, he said.

He also demanded that the Government should take stringent measures to check adulterated coconut oil coming from neighbouring states at border check posts by setting up laboratories.

Meanwhile, the Kerala State Cooperative Marketing Federation Ltd (Marketfed) said that its copra procurement had crossed 4,000 tonnes as of today. There are about 50 cooperative societies and 10 coconut producing societies operating for Marketfed in copra procurement.

(This article was published on September 18, 2012)
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