Prices of coconut oil remained more or less steady in Kerala and Tamil Nadu this week due to lack of interest shown by upcountry buyers and major corporates.

Prakash B.Rao, Vice-President, Cochin Oil Merchants Association (COMA), cited the onset of winter in parts of North India as the reason for poor demand from upcountry buyers despite at low prices.

Coconut oil prices on Monday were ruling at Rs 60 in Kerala at the same level quoted last week, while in Tamil Nadu, the prices were quoted at Rs 58 per kg the same as last week’s prices.

Copra prices were also ruling at the same level quoted last week both in Kerala and Tamil Nadu at Rs 4,200 per quintal and Rs 3,900, respectively.

Palm oil and palm kernel oil prices also stood at the last week’s level of Rs 58 per kg and Rs 52 per kg, respectively. It is reported that leading importers are holding large quantity of crude palm oil stock at this lower prices in Chennai and Mumbai, he said.

Sabarimala copra

According to Rao, there would be a gradual flow of Sabarimala copra at subsidised rates in the terminal markets in Kerala in the coming days on account of the pilgrim season.

The reason for subsidised price of Sabarimala copra is due to the poor quality of the commodity with high moisture content and sedimentation.

This auctioned copra is to be converted into coconut oil in local mills and sold in the market at subsidised rates because of low quality.

It could not be sold in the copra form and it is estimated that 20 per cent of such copra will come from Sabarimala into the market during the pilgrim season, he said.

Market trend

Thalath Mahamood, former President, COMA, said that the market is witnessing a buying trend at this low prices despite firm enquiries from upcountry markets.

The decision of the State Government to procure raw coconuts from farmers’ societies is expected to revive the market. However, more efforts would be needed to propel the drive in order to ensure more participation from coconut farmers.

Bharat N. Khona, former Board Member, COMA, said that the market is ruling steady as other edible oils are keeping low. However, there are not much enquiries from upcountry buyers and corporates.

(This article was published on November 27, 2012)
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