Copra prices below MSP
Trade sources said that in the key markets of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the prices of copra have fallen below minimum support price (MSP) levels and are likely to remain bearish on sluggish demand amidst increased supply continuously.
At present, the average price of copra have fallen to Rs 10,900 per quintal, which is below the MSP of Rs 11750, while it was hovering at Rs 13000 in the beginning of November last year. The same trend is seen with the milling, which is mostly produced in Kerala and Tamilnadu. Its prices have also dropped to Rs 9000-9200 in Kerala and Rs 8200 in Tamilnadu, below the MSP of Rs 10860.
Experts said, “In the current season, the production of copra has increased by around 20-25 per cent due to good weather, leading to the decline in prices. It is expected that its prices are likely to fall further because there is no demand in the markets. However, some traders hope that the prices may improve in the upcoming Holi festival season and apart from this, the purchase of copra by the government is yet to begin in Karnataka for the current season.”
Seeing the current situation, it is being demanded from the state government to give an additional price Rs 3,000 per quintal over the MSP in order to cover costs. Earlier, it was suggested to the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) to fix a price of Rs 16730, but the centre declared it at Rs 11750 for the current season which was only Rs 750 higher from the crop advisory body’s recommendation, while the production’s actual cost is at Rs 18000-20000 per quintal.
Cochin Oil Merchants Association (COMA) said,” Due to high production in the key producing states, there are ample arrivals in the markets, while domestic and upcountry demand are sluggish. Another reason for falling in the prices is to sell copra purchased by the Nafed during the last season under the scheme. The copra was purchased at the rate of Rs 105.90 per kg by the Nafed, but they could sell only about 550 tonnes after inviting bids in December due to the muted response from bidders seeing the availability of the commodity at lower prices in the markets. Now it is expected that the prices may remain in a limited range considering the extension of concessional customs duty on imported edible oils till the end of March. “