Coconut oil prices continue to firm up both in Kerala and Tamil Nadu this week with the onset of monsoon.

In Kerala, the prices were ruling at Rs 64 per kg (Rs 63) and in Tamil Nadu, the prices touched Rs 61 per kg against Rs 60 quoted in the previous week.

Copra prices also shot up Rs 200 per quintal to Rs 4,600 per quintal in Kerala and Rs 4,450 in Tamil Nadu.

Prakash B. Rao, Vice-President, Cochin Oil Merchants Association (COMA), pointed out that despite the firming up of prices, the local sales have come down in Kerala due to rains.

Prices of other edible oils have also gone up with palm oil touching Rs 54 per kg and palm kernel oil at Rs 56 per kg.

There are very little enquiries from upcountry buyers, which is a major concern for the industry.

Copra procurement

He pointed out that the prices are likely to sustain if the government agencies start copra procurement in Tamil Nadu at the earliest, as the season has already started in Tamil Nadu.

If there is no proper support from the government agencies, he said the market may witness a reverse trend.

Thalath Mahamood, former President, COMA, said that the onset of monsoon has affected copra arrivals from the terminal markets and this has led to a price rise.

However, the market has been buoyed with the decision of some leading corporates to procure copra by paying an additional amount of Rs 100 per quintal.

Bharat N. Khona, former Board Member, COMA, said that though there is a sudden spurt in the market, there is no upcountry demand at higher levels. There is a slight improvement in the market due to increase in edible oil prices.

The market, according to him, is witnessing a speculative mood with the prices of loose oil now ruling at Rs 940 for 15 kg against Rs 860 quoted last week.

(This article was published on June 4, 2013)
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