Vanuatu Copra Buyers Urged To Pay Prices Set By State

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Minister concerned some companies buying well under standard

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 10, 2013) – Companies dealing in copra in Vanuatu have been warned to buy copra at the official prices set by Government through the Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board (VCMB) or risk losing their licenses.

Announcing the Government’s position, the Minister for Commerce and Tourism, Marcellino Pipite, said he was giving the copra buyers three months, starting on Monday to show that they will abide by the prices for the commodity set by the VCMB or face having their licenses revoked.

He said the two copra prices currently applicable to the buyers to abide by are Vt30,000 [US$315] per ton for the certain designated ‘pickup’ points throughout the islands of the country and Vt35,000 [US$367] per ton for NISCOL wharf in Luganville, Santo and Ifira wharf in Port Vila.

"It is imperatively important that buyers who are pursuing this line of business must adhere to these instructions," he warned.

The minister said he was concerned that after the VCMB increased the prices for copra, certain buyers were not complying with the decision and were even buying at as low as Vt11,000 [US$115] and Vt15,000 [US$157] a ton. Hence, this decision had to be taken to ensure the official prices are maintained at all times.

The companies that have been issued licenses by the VCMB to buy copra in the country are Agribag, VCE, VCCE, VCPL, COPV and Carpenters.

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