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Copra

Coconut is cultivated in India since ancient times. It is reported to be introduced from the present day Sri Lanka and believed to have spread across the world through sea and travelers. In India, coconut is attached to all ceremonial functions of Hindu culture and is offered to Gods in all kinds of pujas.
Coconut is scientifically known as Cocus nucifera. Although India is the historic home for coconut, it is now widely grown in a large number of countries all over the world. Nevertheless, Asian countries dominate the production. Cocnut has a number of uses but the scope of this report is primarily on copra and its products – oil and meal.
 
Economically Important Products
Almost all the parts of coconut are well utilized and hence it is referred as “Kalpavriksha” in ancient Hindu literature. However, commercially important part is its fruit or nut.
Copra: Endosperm of the nut is called copra and is a rich source of edible oil. It is consumed directly or used for oil extraction similar to oilseeds.
Oil: extracted from copra and used widely in food, medicine and other industrial purposes. It is also extensively used as hair oil in India.
Cake: By-product after oil extraction is a rich source of protein and can be used as a feed like any other oil cakes.
Coir: Another by-product of coconut is coir which is derived from the fibrous outer cover or husk. It is used in preparation of ropes, mats and other handicrafts.
 
Climate and Cultivation
Coconut palm can be grown under varying climatic as well as soil conditions. It is well suited for tropical climate with an annual rainfall of about 200 cm well distributed throughout the year. It is a perennial plant and propagated through nuts.
Seasons and crop calendar
Although there are no particular seasons for planting, it is advisable plant prior to monsoons or can be done with proper irrigation facilities. Usually it is planted during Jun-Jul and Dec-Jan. Coconut starts flowering and producing nuts after five to six years of planting and its economic life go up to 60years.
            Harvesting is spread across the year at regular periods. The nuts are harvested at different maturities depending on the purpose. For oil extraction it needs to be completely matured which would take around 11 to 12 months, while it needs to be harvested just before complete maturity when the nut is slightly greenish for coir making. Thus there is no particular season for harvesting and it spreads throughout the year.
 
World Scenario
Copra output in the world has remained more or stable at about 5.5 million tons during the past decade. Similarly, producing as well as consumption pattern among major producing countries also remained largely the same.
 
 
Philippines remained the largest producer as well as the consumer of copra in the world account for about 45% of global production and consumption. Indonesia and India have been in the second and third positions accounting for about 27% and 12% respectively, both in terms of production and consumption.
Table 1: Global demand and supply of copra (000 tons)
 
Production
Imports
Exports
Consumption
Stocks
2009-10
5706
98
112
5689
351
2010-11
5879
136
103
5976
287
2011-12
5567
82
113
5517
306
2012-13
5792
120
106
5883
229
2013-14
5816
120
83
5864
218
Source: USDA
            The unique pattern observed in copra is that the major producers are the major consumers and hence there is only a marginal quantities of trade witnessed across countries. World trade in copra has been very minimal at about 0.1 million tons a year. Major exporters are Indonesia, Papau New Guinea, Soloman Islands and India in the respective order, while Philippines and Malaysia are the only two importing countries as per the statistics available with the USDA.
 
Domestic Scenario
Domestic production of coconuts is increasing persistently particularly from the late 2000s from about 12 million nuts in 2006-07 to 22 million nuts in 2011-12. Nevertheless, the area under coconut remained largely the same at around 2 million hectares for more than a decade as per the data published by the Coconut Development Board (CDB).
 
 
However, production of copra in India has been declining though marginally at average annual rate of 1.2 % from 2006-07 onwards, based on the data released by the USDA (no specific statistics are available on copra production from the Coconut Board). Further, consumption also witnessed a similar pattern of slow fall in the corresponding period.
 
Table 2: Domestic Balance sheet of copra (000 tons)
 
Production
Imports
Exports
Consumption
2009-10
690
0
15
675
2010-11
680
0
18
662
2011-12
680
0
19
661
2012-13
670
0
17
653
2013-14
670
0
18
652
Source: USDA
 
State-Wise Production
 Coconut production is mainly concentrated in four states in India. Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh together account for more than 90% of coconut production in the country. Kerala alone account for nearly 30% of output followed by Karnataka with 27%, Tamil Nadu with 26% and Andhra Pradesh with about 9% of total nuts produced in the country.
 
 
Major Markets
Spot: Kochi, Tiptur, Alleppy, Cherai, Mattancherry, Kasargod, Calicut, Ezhumathur
Futures: Copra futures are offered on NMCE. Copra, coconut oil and meal futures are traded on First Commodity Exchange of India (FCEI).
 
External Trade
India is a net exporter of copra though at a marginal quantities. However, copra exports have risen from about a 1000 tons in the early 2000s to about 17000 tons in 2012-13.
 
Major export destinations: Philippines and Malaysia
Major import sources: NA
 
Factors Influencing Prices
  • Crop condition and output expectations
  • Domestic demand expectation: Any changes in demand both domestic as well as international markets.
  • Stocks available in the market.
  • External demand and supply: Demand supply situation in major import sources.
  • Trade policies: Any change in government policy relating to change in tariffs, minimum support prices etc.,
 

 

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