Coconut oil prices ruled steady in both Tamil Nadu and Kerala markets. There is good demand which is backed by fairly adequate supply and the prices are likely to remain steady in the coming days, sources in the trade said.
Coconut oil was quoting at Rs 84 per kg in the Kerala markets while it ruled at Rs 80 per kg in Tamil Nadu. Copra prices, meanwhile, were at Rs 60 per kg in Kerala as against Rs 58 per kg in Tamil Nadu. Although there has been increased demand for raw coconuts from all South Indian States on account of the Sabarimala season, it has been backed by adequate supplies.
The pilgrimage demand for raw nut is emanating mainly from States like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, but the production from the individual States is more than adequate to meet this seasonal demand. Moreover, production in Tamil Nadu has now become virtually a round-the-year activity and there is no paucity of raw nuts in the market, Mr Talat Mahmood, President of the Cochin Oil Merchants Association (COMA), said.
As most of its stocks have depleted, Kerafed has been an active buyer in the market. Kerafed has been procuring 60-70 lorry loads on a daily basis from the Kerala and Tamil Nadu markets, sources in the trade said. With cheaper conversion and processing facilities on offer in Tamil Nadu, loads of coconut has also been moving from the Northern districts of Kannur and Kasargode in Kerala to Kangayam in Tamil Nadu. These raw nuts are converted into copra and coconut oil and then transported back to Kerala, Mr Mahmood said.
Although this is the off-season in Kerala, arrivals from Tamil Nadu continue to be good and there is no pressure on prices. Buttressed by firm trends in palm oil and palm kernel oil, coconut oil prices are expected to remain firm, sources in the market said. Palm oil prices have slackened after gains last week while palm kernel oil prices were quoting at Rs 75 a kg.