Commodities

Coconut oil slips on lack of corporate buying

Our Correspondent Kochi | Updated on August 14, 2012 Published on August 14, 2012

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Lack of festival demand and drop in palm kernel oil prices led to fall in coconut oil prices this week.

Coconut oil prices in Kerala dropped to Rs 60 a kg against Rs 62 quoted last week, while the copra prices went down to Rs 4,000 a quintal against last week’s Rs 4,400. The rates in Tamil Nadu were Rs 57 (Rs 59) for coconut oil, while the copra prices are ruling at Rs 3,800 (Rs 4,200).

Prakash B. Rao, Vice-President, Coconut Oil Merchants Association (COMA), said that palm kernel oil, a close substitute for coconut oil, crashed to Rs 56/kg and palm oil at Rs 61. The market is likely to fall further without any copra procurement efforts from the Government.

He pointed out that the festival demand in the State has not yet picked up this year and usually it starts weeks before Onam. Traders have sufficient stocks but the consumption has been sluggish. Last year, raw coconut was selling at Rs 16/kg and the price has almost halved now, he said.

Thalath Mahamood, President, COMA, said that the market sentiment has been affected by reports that Nafed would offload the copra stock into the open market.Bharat N. Khona, former Board Member, COMA, said that corporates and upcountry buyers are staying away as the market is sliding day by day. They are keeping a close watch in the price movement.

Meanwhile, the State Government has decided to revamp the copra procurement scheme as it is aware that the scheme was not benefiting coconut farmers much. To make the scheme more effective, about 100 cooperative societies would be equipped with dryers by next year to make copra from raw coconut so that they could buy coconuts from farmers.

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Published on August 14, 2012
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