Coconut oil extractors rush for copra drives up prices

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on December 11, 2018

Recent floods in Kerala and Cyclone Gaja in Tamil Nadu have hit supply of the raw material



Branded coconut oil makers are driving up copra prices as they scramble to corner stocks in the backdrop of a looming shortage of the raw material.

Trading sources cited an instance of a leading company engaged in the manufacture of branded coconut oil procuring copra from the market paying ₹100/quintal more than the previous day’s price.

The sources said this has resulted in copra prices spiralling northwards, touching ₹10,000 a quintal in Kerala and ₹9,600 in Tamil Nadu. Both these markets have been witnessing copra scarcity, following the floods and Cyclone Gaja.

Admitting that there is a supply crunch, Thalath Mahmood, Director, Cochin Oil Merchants Association (COMA), said that the sector is pinning hope on the next harvest season in February-March for adequate availability.

The low turnout at the Sabarimala pilgrim season this year has also affected copra arrivals to the market from the hill shrine.

However, copra arrivals to the market have slightly improved as the issues connected with women’s entry to the hill shrine started abating.

Sabarimala copra is mostly inferior quality with high moisture content and is used by soap manufacturers due to its low price, he said.

Low arrivals and a good upcountry demand also lifted coconut oil prices to ₹14,400 a quintal in Kerala and ₹9,800 a quintal in Tamil Nadu.

Mahmood also voiced concern on the rising instances of adulteration of coconut oil with cheap edible oils in the neighbouring States and hoped the authorities concerned will take steps to curb it.

Published on December 11, 2018

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