Coconut oil, also known as coconut butter, is a tropical oil with many applications. It is extracted from copra (derived from Malayalam word "kopra" which means dried coconut). Coconut oil constitutes seven percent of the total export income of the Philippines, the world's largest exporter of the product. Coconut oil was developed as a commercial product by merchants in the South Seas and South Asia in the 1860s. Coconut oil is a fat consisting of about 90% saturated fat. The oil contains predominantly medium chain triglycerides, with roughly 92% saturated fatty acids, 6% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 2% polyunsaturated fatty acids. Of the saturated fatty acids, coconut oil is primarily 44.6% lauric acid, 16.8% myristic acid a 8.2% palmitic acid and 8% caprylic acid, although it contains seven different saturated fatty acids in total. Its only monounsaturated fatty acid is oleic acid while its only polyunsaturated fatty acid is linoleic acid. Unrefined coconut oil melts at 24-25Ã‚Â°C (76Ã‚Â°F) and smokes at 170Ã‚Â°C (350Ã‚Â°F), while refined coconut oil has a higher smoke point of 232Ã‚Â°C (450Ã‚Â°F). Among the most stable of all oils, coconut oil is slow to oxidize and thus resistant to rancidity, lasting up to two years due to its high saturated fat content. It is best stored in solid form, below 24.5Ã‚Â°C (76Ã‚Â°F) in order to extend shelf life. However, unlike most oils, coconut oil will not be damaged by warmer temperatures. Globally 5.5 million tons of coconuts are produced annually. Indonesia, Philippines and India are top three leading producers with production share- 27%, 23% and 22% respectively. SriLanka, Mexico, Vietnam, New Guinea and Brazil are other important producers. 3 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 3.5 million tons of coconut oil is produced annually around the world while consumption figure globally is around 3.8 million tons. Annually around 2 lakh ton raw copra, 1 lakh ton meal and 3.5 lakh ton coconut oil is traded worldwide. Indonesia, Philippines, SriLanka are important market for coconut and copra India produces around 12141 million nuts of coconut, 6.5 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 7 lakh ton of copra Oil recovery from copra is 65 - 72%, annually 4 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 4.5 lakh tons of coconut oil is produced in the country SEA of India has forecasted 6.5 lakh tons of copra and 4.2 lakh coconut oil production in 2005-06. The production is highly dependent on the monsoon and incidence of pest and diseases and fluctuates between years. India imports around 2000 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 7000 tons of crude coconut oil. There is a good scope for new entrants.