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Sri Lanka lifts temporary ban on fresh coconut exports

Sri Lanka is lifting a 4-month temporary ban imposed on raw coconut exports from May 1, to maintain the country’s foreign market share, a top official of the Coconut Development Authority (CDA) told Business Times.

The recent ban was enforced from January 15 to April 31. The CDA has been imposing a ban on the export of raw coconuts from time to time to stabilise prices during periods of low crop.

Director General of CDA, U.G.R. Ariyaratne revealed that coconut exports were suspended to control rising local prices of nuts due to a shortfall in production during this period.

Local nut prices were around Rs.70 per nut and the ban on raw coconut exports was aimed at maintaining the price at a stable level of Rs. 60 during the festive period, he said adding that the authority will grant permission to export fresh nuts under strict controls with effect from May 1.

This decision was taken to maintain the country’s fresh coconut market share overseas as a continued ban would help other coconut exporting countries like Malaysia gain from Sri Lanka’s loss, he added.

However exporters of value-added coconut products were of the view that the lifting of the ban at a time when the crop production was not adequate to meet the local demand is not so prudent.

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