Desiccated coconut industry decimated?

Monday, 22 November 2010 01:36 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

World famous The Public Ledger’s expose on Lankan blending scandal.

Recent adverse publicity in The Public Ledger, the world’s leading commodity publication with news and prices on over 700 agricultural commodities, has threatned to decimate Sri Lanka’s desiccated coconut industry, experts warned.

The Public Ledger (TPL) has picked up a recent Lankan report about a Lankan importer of DC from Vietnam who had violated the Coconut Development Authority (CDA) regulations by blending imported products with Sri Lankan DC for export.

Consequently the CDA has instructed the miller that the imported DC should not be mixed or processed with locally produced DC.

The TPL article also stated that according to CDA investigations the importer had been mixing around 60% of inferior Vietnamese DC with around 40% of the local wet kernel. The importer had requested importing 5,000 tonnes under the Temporary Importation for Export Processing (TIEP) scheme.

The CDA has only permitted the DC miller to import 1,200 tonnes of DC for six months with a restriction that the monthly import quantities should not exceed 200 tonnes under the scheme.

The Public Ledger article said that the global DC prices have spiraled upwards due to the continued impact of alarmingly tight global availability which has been compounded by a recent supply scandal in Sri Lanka.

A UK trader had told The Public Ledger that the importer’s strategy had been fraudulent, ‘totally immoral’ and potentially dangerous. “You might be introducing bacteria into a product that will make people ill and damage Sri Lanka’s reputation,” he had said to TPL.

The TPL article titled “Sri Lankan blending scandal worsens world coconut tightness” also quoted this UK trader as saying “In the meantime the Sri Lankan price, which had been lagging behind the Philippine price, suddenly shot up as people scampered around looking for mills other than the ones involved with this guy. Coupled with that, the coconut oil price is going up all the time and the market will go higher.”

The TPL said the trader predicted that prices were also likely to be underpinned by a shortage of husk nuts, particularly in Candelaria in the north of the Philippines following drought earlier this year.