Coconut oil market in Kerala and Tamil Nadu recovered from lower levels this week due to huge demand for raw coconuts all over South India.

Prakash B.Rao, Vice President, Cochin Oil Merchants Association (COMA pointed out that there is a huge demand for raw coconuts due to ongoing Sabarimala season. Copra prices had also gone up because of lesser conversion.

Farmers are willing to sell raw coconuts rather than converting it into copra due to better prices available from the market, he said adding, that the market is showing some positive signs due to high demand of raw coconuts.

The coconut oil prices in Kerala increased to Rs 61.50 per kg against last week prices of Rs 60, while in Tamil Nadu, it stood at Rs 59.50 against Rs 58 per kg. Copra prices also surged ahead touching Rs 4,300 per quintal in Kerala (Rs 4,200) and Rs 4,000 in Tamil Nadu (Rs 3,900).

According to Rao, palm oil prices are slightly weaker compared to other edible oils due to huge built up stocks with large scale importers. However, palm kernel prices slightly improved this week at Rs 53 per kg compared to last week prices.

Palm oil prices dropped to Rs 54 per kg from the last week level of Rs 58, while palm kernel oil prices are ruling at Rs 53 per kg against Rs 52 quoted last week.

Thalath Mahamood, former President, COMA pointed out that up-county and local demand coupled with Sabarimala pilgrim season started reflecting in the market and showing signs of price improvement. Traders are expecting a slight improvement in prices at Rs 1 to 2 per kg in the near term, he said.

Bharat N.Khona, former Board Member, COMA said that the market is showing some strength for an upward trend. The prices are likely to rise further due to demand for milling grade copra which is flowing in good quantity from Tamil Nadu to upcountry millers.

However, he expressed some concern over the low prices of palm oil in international markets, saying that “the situation has to be watched”.

(This article was published on December 4, 2012)
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