Copra prices in Kerala and Tamil Nadu have shot up thanks to the rising trend of edible oil rates in the global markets and holding of stock by copra dealers.
The prices are hovering in the range of ₹124 per kg in Kerala and ₹116 in Tamil Nadu from ₹100 per kg especially after the Onam festival season.
KK Devaraj, consultant, KPL Sudhi Coconut Oil, said that there has been a 20 per cent rise in all edible oils globally which was reflected in copra prices as well.
He attributed the rise to drop in sunflower oil production in Ukraine, which is a major producer. Higher edible oil price has forced Tamil Nadu based dealers to hold their copra stock. Lean coconut season in Kerala has pushed up the prices as well, he said. He expects the supply to stabilise once the harvest season commences both in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Thalath Mahmood, President, Cochin Oil Merchants Association (COMA), said that accumulation of copra stocks by dealers caused the prices to spike.
The high rates of copra are reflected in coconut oil prices, which are quoting at ₹215 in retail and ₹200 in the wholesale market, forcing consumers to shift to other cheaper edible oils. Consequently, copra rates have been ruling steady in the last few days, he said. He hopes the harvest season in December in Kerala to push down the prices.
The Covid-19 has resulted in subdued demand for copra especially from corporates with the pandemic impacting both edible and non-edible coconut oil brands in the market. Adequate stock forced companies to go for discounted sales in the market.
Coconut Development Board officials also cited supply constraints to the rising trend in copra prices. Since Indonesian copra prices are on the higher side at $,1000 per tonne, some coconut oil exporters here are depending on the domestic market for procurement.
Meanwhile, the has hit coconut oil exports to Gulf countries, a major market for Kerala-based producing companies, with as much as 30 per cent drop in shipments. Moreover, job loss and return of families to India adversely affected coconut oil consumption considerably, industry sources said.