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Sri Lanka coconut auction prices hit two year high

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s average coconut prices grew 8.2 percent to 50,970 rupees for a 1000 nuts at an auction on May 21, from 47,098 rupees a week earlier, a two year high, with taxes on imported vegetable oils hiked with import controls, official data showed.

The prices are the highest seen since April 2018, when the average for the month was 51,806 rupees for 1,000 nuts.

At the auction the highest price was 56,100 rupees for a 1,000 nuts and the lowest, 42,000 rupees at the auction conducted by Sri Lanka’s Coconut Development Authority on March 21.

Palm oil, close substitute for coconut oil has been taxed at 350 rupees a kilogram.

Buyers offered 721,165 nuts at the auction and sold 636,893.

In the first two months of the year coconut production was estimated at 467 million nuts, down 6.7 percent from a year earlier.

Sri Lanka has been conducting coconut auctions online through zoom.com from last month as the country was shutdown to stop ab outbreak of Coronavirus.

The key buyers at the auctions are from industrial sectors such as desiccated coconut and oil mills.(Colombo/May 24/2020)