Increased export enquiries for virgin coconut oil especially from the US and Canada have revived some hopes among the coconut oil traders in Kerala.
Sources in the market said that a leading coconut oil producing company has recently received an export order for 30,000 tonnes from Canada.
However, the traders said that they are not in a position to meet the export demand due to insufficient production of this particular variety of oil considered to be high in nutritional values. With more than 30 virgin coconut oil manufacturing units in Kerala, the production is only a meagre 4,300 tonnes per annum.
Coconut Development Board is extending the necessary technological support for these units. However the production has not increased to meet the demand, traders said.
Given the recent growth in domestic consumption, they were of the view that more companies should come forward to meet both the export and local demand. Several experiments revealed that the cholesterol content in virgin coconut oil is good for human health.
Meanwhile, the coconut oil market in Kerala and Tamil Nadu is on a steady line this week with prices remaining more or less steady at ₹14,000 per quintal and ₹14,100 respectively. Copra prices are also ruling at ₹10,100 in Kerala and ₹10,000 in Tamil Nadu.
Thalath Mahmood, Director, Coconut Oil Merchants Association (COMA), said that a good demand for raw coconuts to Karnataka from northern parts of Kerala has reduced copra arrivals to central parts of the state. Several desiccated coconut powder manufacturing companies in the neighbouring state have started buying raw nuts in bulk quantities in the price range of ₹30-33.
This coupled with a strong corporate buying of copra at higher prices at ₹104 a kg in the last two days has resulted in spurt of prices of this commodity, he said.