Coconut prices bounce back after sharp drop during Covid

By Hoang Nam   May 4, 2023 | 07:40 pm PT
Coconut prices bounce back after sharp drop during Covid
Workers husk coconuts at a farm in Giong Trom District, Ben Tre Province. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Nam
Prices of dried coconut in Ben Tre Province, the Mekong Delta coconut-farming hub, have recovered to VND3,300-4,200 (US$14-18 cents) per fruit after falling steeply in the last two years.

"The prices are the highest in the last two years" when exports of the nut fell due to the Covid pandemic, Huynh Phuc Hau, who owns two hectares of coconut trees in the province’s Giong Trom District, said.

Before the pandemic prices used to be VND5,800-6,700 for dried coconuts, enabling him to earn VND6-10 million a month by selling them.

Nguyen Van Binh, a trader in Ben Tre City, said due to the low prices in recent times many coconut farmers neglected their orchards and even switched to growing other fruits, resulting in decreased output of coconut and lower quality.

Now he manages to buy 700-900 coconuts a day, half the volume at this time a few years ago.

Huynh Quang Duc, deputy director of the Ben Tre Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the global market for coconut has begun to recover after the pandemic, and so prices are increasing again.

The province hopes the nut could be exported to the U.S. and China, two major markets, under official quotas, he said.

Ben Tre has over 74,000 hectares of coconut orchards, or 50% of the country’s total area, and an annual output of 690 million dried coconuts, whose copra is used for processing including oil extraction.

Some 62% of the province’s population depends on coconut trees for its main source of income.

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