An apparent lacklustre mood is prevailing in the coconut oil market in Kerala and Tamil Nadu with prices remaining more or less steady.

Prices in Kerala are ruling at Rs 60 a kg, the same as quoted last week, while in Tamil Nadu, they went up by 50 paise to Rs 58.50.

Palm oil and palm kernel oil prices were also at the last week’s level of Rs 58 and Rs 52, respectively.

Copra prices in Tamil Nadu and Kerala stood at Rs 4,200 a quintal quoted last week.

According to Prakash B. Rao, Vice-President, Cochin Oil Merchants Association (COMA), the market is witnessing a holiday mood.

LOW DEMAND

The festival demand was very low and was not reflected in the market with less interest shown by upcountry buyers.

However, traders are expecting an improvement in coconut oil prices in the coming weeks due to a recent rally in palm oil prices in Malaysia.

It is reported that palm oil prices in Malaysia have firmed up in the last couple of days due to bulk enquiries from Asian countries, he said.

Rao said that lack of demand from upcountry buyers and local consumers had also reflected in the Muhurat trading in coconut oil in Kochi.

It was lower at 200 quintals compared with 600 quintals last year, he said.

KERALA PROCUREMENT

Meanwhile, the Kerala Government has approved a scheme for coconut procurement in the State at Rs 14 a kg through Krishi Bhavans.

These will be processed at 20 centres including 14 farms of the Agriculture Department.

The State Cabinet had sanctioned Rs 8 crore for the Rs 21 crore-scheme prepared by the Agriculture Department.

The remaining would be adjusted from the budgetary allocations for the department.

SUBSIDY FOR COOPERATIVES

The Government also decided to provide Rs 500 a quintal as subsidy to cooperatives including producers’ societies and apex societies procuring copra to improve copra procurement under a central scheme.

The Government would request the Central Government to increase the procurement price of copra at the earliest.

It was also decided to seek a subsidy of Rs 15 a kg for coconut oil as was being provided for palmolein.

sajeevkumar.v@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 15, 2012)
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