Kerafed hikes price of raw nuts to Rs. 20 a kg; to procure one lakh tonnes by December

Price of coconut and coconut oil are on the boil in the run-up to Onam. Despite slackened demand in upcountry markets, coconut oil closed at Rs. 8,000 a quintal in wholesale trading on Tuesday.

The presence of industrial buyers, taking deliveries at a notch higher than what is prevailing in the market as a measure against poor arrivals, have also helped push up the price of copra, which closed at Rs. 6,000 a quintal in Kerala and at Rs. 5,800 a quintal in Tamil Nadu.

The market has also taken cue from a decision by Kerala Kerakarshaka Sahakarana Federation (Kerafed) to pay farms Rs. 20 a kg of husked, raw coconuts from September 1. This implies that 600 to 750 gram raw coconut will cost between Rs. 12 and 15 apiece. The price has been raised from Rs. 16 a kg in view of the Onam demand.

Farmers have reacted sharply to Kerafed move as the apex coconut cooperative targets to procure at least a lakh tonne of raw nuts by the end of December this year. Kerafed managing director Ashok Kumar Thekkan said raw nuts worth Rs. 200 crore would be procured by then.

He said farmers got quick payment through their bank accounts and had participated in the procurement process enthusiastically.

Malappuram, Kozhikode and Palakkad districts had seen the highest volumes of raw nut procurement. The two northern districts accounted for a total of 12,000 tonnes of raw nuts procured by Kerafed while Palakkad was close behind with 4,200 tonnes.

Copra arrivals at the terminal market here had thinned, this being the lean month, said Talat Mehmood of Cochin Oil Merchants’ Association (Coma). He said rain in Tamil Nadu had also helped thin the supplies.

The price of coconut oil in the retail market hovers near the Rs. 100-mark. Kerafed’s Kera brand was selling at Rs. 70 at the Onam special shops. In other outlets the brand was selling at a discount at Rs. 88 a litre against the MRP of Rs. 98, said Mr. Thekkan.

Kerafed sales had picked up and the Federation expects to sell around 3,000 tonnes of coconut oil, worth approximately Rs. 200 crore in during Onam, a fortnight from now.

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