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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (December 29, 2000 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---A hike in copra prices has been approved by the Copra Marketing Board. The increase results from positive signs on the world market.

A 16 percent increase will take effect on January 1. The new hot-air price will be K 311 (US$ 103.25) a ton, K 52 (US$ 17.26) more than the current price of K 259 (US$ 85.99) in the main copra depots around the country.

Board commercial services manager Michael Warapik said: "If the current trend continues, we foresee an improvement in February and the following months.

"It’s been tough because for too long. The prices had been against the CMB and the producers . . . but one of our remedial actions includes securing price support from a commercial bank as per approval from the National Executive Council."

He said the board was working to get a commercial loan of about K 5 million (US$ 1,660,000) from one of the commercial banks to further support the prices. The result will be known in a week.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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