Coconut oil prices have soared nearly 20 per cent in a month, largely because of the growing popularity of specialty products such as coconut water.
In supermarkets, coconuts are being sold with pull tabs to be drunk like beer. Coconut sugar is being touted as healthier for diabetics. And US actor Gwyneth Paltrow is among celebrity coconut fans, once revealing she swishes around virgin coconut oil for oral health and whitening her teeth.
Such trendy products come from young green coconuts, fresh coconut and the trees’ flowers. That leaves less dried coconut — copra — to be made into the conventional oil that is used in everything from dish detergent to medicine.
The result has been a jump in prices since February, to an average in March of $US1448 a tonne, according to World Bank data released this week. That is more than 50 per cent higher than the average price in 2013.
Meanwhile, the interest in specialty products is only expected to grow.
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