Coconuts added to price control list as slump rolls on
The mobile cabinet has approved adding mature coconuts and coconut products to the state price control list as part of efforts to deal with the domestic coconut price slump.
Nathporn Chatusripitak, an adviser to the PM's Office Minister, said on Tuesday the cabinet, which met in Chiang Rai, is hopeful the latest measure proposed by the Commerce Ministry will help increase domestic coconut prices.
He said more aid measures to shore up prices are in the pipeline.
Once on the price control list, manufacturers have to secure prior approval from the Internal Trade Department before changing the size and price of their products. Manufacturers are also required to inform officials details of the movement, letting authorities know the source of purchases.
The move is expected to help curb coconut smuggling. Violators are subject to five years in jail, a fine of up to 100,000 baht, or both.
The Commerce Ministry recently threatened to blacklist 10 coconut importers that failed to provide clarity on their import data. Officials suspect some importers violated their agreements and sold imported coconuts to local traders, for which the importers hired workers to remove the husks from coconut shells.
There are more than 80 coconut importers registered with the Foreign Trade Department that import coconuts as raw materials for their factories.
In 2017, Thailand imported 416,124 tonnes of coconuts worth 4.62 billion baht, with 384,102 tonnes from Indonesia, 15,613 tonnes from Vietnam, 2,864 tonnes from Myanmar and 13,524 tonnes from Malaysia.