Date : 22-Feb-2011
Subject : India’s coconut exports surge on Sri Lanka ban

India’s coconut exports have increased by 30 per cent this year, triggered by the export ban on shipments of the produce by Sri Lanka.

The Coconut Development Board (CDB) is expecting an export growth of 30 per cent this year over last year.

CDB is a statutory body established under the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India for the integrated development of coconut cultivation and industry in the country with focus on productivity increase and product diversification.

Many new exporters are registering themselves with the Board to cash in on the trend, CDB sources said.

During the last couple of months, the export of fresh coconuts from India to Middle East has increased considerably, they said, adding previously Sri Lanka was the main exporter of fresh coconuts to Middle East.

“Now their (Lanka) domestic price is much higher than our domestic price,” the sources said, adding the supply constraints in other major coconut countries like Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia are also working in favour of India’s surge in exports.

“Our own ethnic population prefers Indian coconuts if it is available at a competitive price”, they added.

Sri Lanka has imposed ban on coconut export possibly to control local prices of the product and fullfill domestic requirement of coconut oil, CDB’s Chief Coconut Development Officer Thomas Mathew told PTI over the phone from Kochi.

Sri Lanka has been the main competitor to India in the export of coconut and its products, but exports from Lanka have been hit by a sharp shortfall in production and the island nation’s loss has turned out to be India’s gain.

“Our export of coconut to Middle East and Mauritius has increased by 50 per cent in the last 20 days,” owner of Krutika Exports Manoj Gaitonde told PTI.

He said the coconut crop in Sri Lanka has been affected by disease and floods.

Another exporter Kamlesh Shah of Kunal Corporation said his company achieved record export of dry coconut this year to Mauritius because of increased demand in the Mahashivratri festival.

Coconut is grown in more than 86 countries worldwide, with a total production of 54 billion nuts per annum. India occupies the premier position in the world with an annual production of 13 billion nuts.

In India, coconut is cultivated mainly in the coastal tracts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Source: The Hindu

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