Govt sets palm nut price at B5/kg
Palm oil growers were preparing to end their rally after the government agreed to raise the price of palm nuts to five baht a kilogramme, report said on Wednesday.
- Published: 12/12/2012 at 04:44 PM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
Palm oil growers had complained that palm nut prices have dropped in the past four months from 4-6 baht/kg to 2.50-2.60 baht/kg, while production costs for large-scale growers were 3.20 baht/kg and small farmers 4.29 baht/kg.
At noon on Wednesday, Sitthiporn Jariyapong, chairman of the Surat Thani Farmers' Council, and representatives from Chumphon, Ranong, Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Pang Nga, Trang and Surat Thani successfully negotiated with the government over the price of palm nuts.
However, the palm oil protesters decided to stay put until the government provided them with strong evidence that the five baht price will be guaranteed, and they gave the government until 3pm to show such evidence.
Around 4,000 people from seven provinces gathered at the Suratthani Co-operative Ltd demandikng the government shore up the price of palm nuts. Palm oil growers also staged rallies in provincial centres in each of the seven provinces.
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Palm oil growers are happy when they know that the fresh palm nuts price will be shored up to 5 baht/kg.
Kitti Kittichontawat, chairman of Chumphon Chamber of Commerce said the plunge in the palm oil price was partly the result of the import of crude palm oil, for refining, during the cooking oil shortage earlier this year.
He said a sustainable solution would be to use more palm oil as alternativesource of energy.
The farmers in Chumphon said they were aware stock of crude palm oil held by major refineries was no at an unusually high level of over 300,000 tonnes . As a result, the price of fresh palm nuts had been falling steadily.
Chumni Chaitorkate, 63, said at the current price, he earned approximately 2,500 baht from his harvest of only one tonne of nuts from four-rai. However, he had to pay the harvesters 700 baht a tonne and spend 2,100 baht a month on maintenance and fertiliser.
"The 2.50 baht a kilogramme is not enough. The price has to be at least 4 baht/kg for farmers to make any profit," said Mr Chumni.
Prachum Petchaboon, 48, said he had to reduced the size of his plantation to pay the wages of his workers and the cost of fertiliser. He said the 2.50 baht/kg price reduced his income to almost nothing.
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- Writer: Online Reporters