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Coconut oil prices fall on increased supply

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An increase in supply from Tamil Nadu and Kerala has led to a sharp fall in the price of coconut oil. The price today dropped to Rs 7,500 a quintal in the local market, which had touched the peak of Rs 10,400 a quintal during the second week of May.

With the end of monsoon, processing of coconut was active in Kerala, especially in the northern districts of Malappuram, Kannur and Kasargode. So, copra supply to crushing mills had increased now, said Thalath Mehamood, president, (COMA).

The sharp increase in production in Tamil Nadu also caused a fall in wholesale prices in Kankayam, the largest coconut oil market in India. The price fell below Rs 7,000 last week. This sharp fall raised demand from FMCG companies, leading to an improvement in prices.

A section of traders told Business Standard that production of copra is yet to be active in the southern districts of Kerala, hence supply would be tight in the coming weeks. The demand for tender coconut is also on a rise after the monsoon.

The retail price of tender coconut increased to Rs 20 for each in most parts of the state. So a major chunk of coconut farmers now opt this channel as for ripe coconut they get a maximum price of Rs 10-12. This also affects the production of good quality copra in Kerala as well as in Tamil Nadu.

Meanwhile, the drop in the price of palm kernel oil also led to the fall in coconut oil price. Palm kernel oil is being widely mixed with coconut oil and sold at lower rate.

Every time coconut oil price increases, adulteration also rises. Now adulteration is active as the price of palm kernel oil dropped to Rs 5,200 a quintal from Rs 10,200 few months back. Palm kernel oil is a suitable mix for adulteration of coconut oil and 25-30 per cent mixing cannot be detected easily.

Due to this mixing, coconut oil is offered at lower rates in the retail segment. This practice is widely uses in crushing mills of Tamil Nadu that helps dealers to offer lower rate for coconut oil.

As main production season of coconut and copra begins in December, market is likely to be in a low phase, with fluctuation in prices based on the swing in demand for the next six-eight weeks.

PTI adds: Copra Alapuzha and copra Kozhikode prices firmed up further at the spices market on sustained demand from stockists coupled with good offtake by millers in view of festivities.

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