Sri Lanka coconut auction prices drop 12-pct from peak

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s average coconut prices fell 5.67 percent to 48,743 rupees for a 1000 nuts at an auction at the second auction in July down 11.8 percent from a mid-June peak, official data showed.

The highest price was 54,100 rupees for 1,000 nuts, down from 57,900 and the lowest 43,000 rupees down from 45000 at the auction conducted by Sri Lanka’s Coconut Development Authority on July 09.

Buyers offered 1,572,828nuts at the auction and sold 1,035,731 nuts.

Sri Lanka’s coconut prices have picked up steadily from an average of 38,215 when auctions resumed on April 09 after a break due to a Coronavirus crisis and peaked at 55,318 in mid-June.

Palm oil, close substitute for coconut oil has been taxed at 350 rupees a kilogram while coconut oil imports have been restricted after money printing by the central bank to finance the deficit.

Some taxes have been reduced.

Production had also fallen.

Sri Lanka’s coconut production was estimated to have dropped 12.6 percent to 679 million nuts in the quarter of 2020 from a year earlier.

There had been disruptions in plucking and husking during lockdowns to contain the Coronavirus. Sri Lanka ended lockdowns after no new cases from the community since April 30, but earlier in July, a new cluster flared at a drug rehabilitation centre. (Colombo/July 13/2020-sb)