Procurement of copra from the open market by Nafed has boosted coconut oil prices in Kerala and Tamil Nadu after a long gap.

Thalath Mahmood, director of Cochin Oil Merchants Association (COMA), said copra prices in Kerala rose to 9 ₹99 per kg while coconut oil stood at ₹149 per kg. In Tamil Nadu, it is ₹93 and ₹135.25, respectively.  

Nafed’s procurement began before the announcement of Lok Sabha polls, which helped revive the market. This, coupled with Ramzan sales and Vishu festival demand, has boosted prices. The prices are likely to sustain till the procurement by the government agency is over, he said adding that Kerala is also in the process of commencing procurement.

However, the upcountry demand is very low despite start of the harvest season in major producing centres of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, he said.

MSP for copra

The government has announced procurement at a minimum support price of Rs116 for milling copra and Rs120 for ball copra.

K.K.Devraj, a consultant in the industry, said copra and coconut oil prices have been showing a slight increase over the past couple of weeks. The rise is said to be due to the purchase of edible copra by Nafed at higher prices in neighbouring Karnataka. The market is apprehensive as to how long this high rate can sustain, since copra arrivals had already started and consequent price fall was generally expected.

Meanwhile, contrary to the general trend, the sunflower oil and soya oil prices are ruling marginally lower than palmolein prices. The import of sunflower oil is on record high, mainly due to the abundant supplies compared to the falling inventories of Palm oil, he said.

Consumers are the happy lot since retail prices of all edible oils, except gingely oil, are keeping low and they have various options of oils and prices to choose from, he added.