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«Date:06/06/2011 URL: Farmers of Tamil Nadu, Andhra show the way Shankar Bennur ...»

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Date:06/06/2011 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2011/06/06/stories/2011060659730200.htm Sell potato immediately, farmers told COIMBATORE: Since there are no chances for the price of potato to increase in June-July, farmers have been asked to sell the ‘Neerbogam' season tubers immediately on harvest.

The Domestic and Export Market Intelligence Cell (DEMIC) of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University has made the prediction based on study conducted at the Nilgiris Co-operative Marketing Society at Mettupalayam.

The price of a 45 kg bag of potato is likely to be between Rs. 625 and Rs. 675 in June. One kg of potato will be between Rs. 14 and Rs. 16.

The price in April ranged between Rs. 450 and Rs. 550 for a 45 kg bag in Mettupalayam.

Potato from the Nilgiris is traded in Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchi, Salem and Vellore, and also to other States.

They fetch higher price always when compared to those grown in Karnataka and Northern States because of the better quality and longer shelf-life.

Potato is priced based on quality, size, colour and shelf-life. It is also graded based on different quality parameters.

In Tamil Nadu, potato is grown in the hilly regions of Dindigul, the Nilgiris, Krishnagiri and Erode districts.

It is cultivated in 4,600 hectares in the State and the production this year is 97,200 tonnes as against the 80,600 tonnes last year.

During the lean season, traders outsource potato from Agra, Hasanpur, Indore and Kolar to cater to the needs of the consumers of Tamil Nadu.

© Copyright 2000 - 2009 The Hindu Charu Sudan Kasturi, Hindustan Times New Delhi, June 05, 2011 First Published: 10:27 IST(5/6/2011) Last Updated: 10:29 IST(5/6/2011) Inflation to fall below 8% by July, IIP to decline: IEG After remaining above the 8% mark for almost 18 months, inflation would moderate to 7.93% by the end of July, Institute of Economic Growth (IEG) has said in its forecast.

"The WPI (wholesale price index) inflation forecasts are 8.47%, 8.24% and 7.93% for May, June and July 2011, respectively," IEG said in its monthly monitor report.

Headline inflation in the country came down marginally to 8.66% in April on the back of moderation in the prices of certain food items.

However, the industrial growth rate would slow down to a dismal 4.84% by July-end, thereby, indicating that the growth momentum could slow down in the coming months.

"Though global recovery is picking up, the inflation pushed rate hikes will pull the growth down", IEG said.

The institute has pegged the IIP (index of industrial production) growth rate for May, June and July 2011 at 5.73%, 5.48% and 4.84%, respectively.

The IIP in March stood at 7.3%, almost doubling from the previous month.

Inflation, both at food and overall level, has remained at an elevated level for over a year despite the Reserve Bank's tight monetary policy stance.

The apex bank has hiked its lending (repo) and borrowing (reverse repo) rates nine times since March 2010, to rein in the spike in prices.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/705910.aspx Jun 06, 2011 'China slowdown may lead to 75% dip in commodities' Bloomberg / London June 05, 2011, 0:09 IST A “sudden” slowdown in China may lead commodity prices to fall as much as 75 per cent from current levels, Standard & Poor’s said.

Unexpected shifts in government policies or problems in the banking sector may trigger such a slowdown, S&P said in a report e-mailed on Saturday. The floor for aluminum is 65 cents to 70 cents a pound ($1,433 to $1,543 a metric ton), compared with about $1.20 a pound now and copper’s floor is $1.50 to $1.75 a pound, compared with $4.10 a pound currently, S&P said.

“Given the extent to which China has bolstered commodity prices, that’s something that we have to be concerned about,” S&P analyst Scott Sprinzen said by telephone from New York.

“The efforts by the government in China to slow growth are having an effect on commodity prices. It’s been a pretty modest correction so far.” The Standard & Poor’s GSCI index of 24 commodities dropped 6.8 per cent last month, the first decline since August, as accelerating inflation in China fanned speculation growth will slow.

China’s central bank has raised benchmark interest rates four times and boosted lenders’ reserve-requirement ratios by three percentage points since September.

The central bank may raise rates ahead of a public holiday on June 6 because consumer prices are expected to rise to a new high in May, the Shanghai Daily said May 31, citing UBS AG.

Inflation rose 5.3 per cent last month, exceeding the government’s full-year target of 4 per cent.

MODERATING GROWTH

China’s gross domestic product may grow 9.5 per cent this year, down from 10.3 per cent in 2010, according to a median of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Under S&P’s base- case scenario, China’s economic growth will moderate, while private consumption will remain strong, according to the report.

“The current situation isn’t a bubble and it’s not going to burst, but there is a risk,” Sprinzen said.

In case of a sudden slowdown in the world’s biggest consumer of commodities, iron ore’s floor is $85 to $95 a metric ton compared with about $170 now, seaborne coking coal at the mine has a floor of $100 to $120 a ton, compared with about $180 now, and hot rolled coil steel’s floor is $475 to $525 a ton compared with about $750 now, according to the report.





“In considering the downside for metals, we generally assume that the global industry production cost curve would set a pricing floor,” Sprinzen wrote. “Specifically, we assume that prices are unlikely to fall for an extended period below the level at which 10-20 per cent of world capacity cannot generate positive operating cash flow before investment.” Commodities may “easily” drop 25 to 40 per cent in the next 12 months, presenting an “enormous opportunity” for investors, David Stroud, chief executive officer of TS Capital, a hedge fund manager in New York, said in an e-mail.

Cashew nut prices up 20 per cent VDS Rama Raju / Chennai/ Visakhapatnam June 06, 2011, 0:24 IST Cashew nut prices in the Palasa-Kasibugga market have increased by over 20 per cent during this season as compared with the last season.

This is mainly due to a shortfall in raw material from both domestic and international markets.

Cashew nuts are normally available from April till June 15 in the domestic market and during March and April in the international market.

“Last season, we purchased nuts at '3,800-4,200 per 80 kg bag, whereas this season cashew processing operators are paying Rs 4,600-6,000 per bag,” said Malla Srinivasa Rao, president of the Palasa Cashew Manufacturers Association.

He said production dropped by more than 30 per cent in some districts of Andhra Pradesh due to bad weather. The average nut production last season was 2.5 tonnes per hectare, which has declined to 1.5 tonnes in most parts of the state.

This apart, political unrest in the Ivory Coast and in some African countries, which are the main cashew nut exporting countries, impacted exports. This led to a rise in the cost of imported nuts.

“During last season, we imported nuts at '2,800-3,00 per 80 kg bag. Now the same bag costs '5,000-5,600,” he said.

Morevover, cashew kernels yielding has also dropped significantly. “Usually, we get 22-23 kg cashew kernels by processing 80 kg nuts. But this year, the yield has reduced to 19-20 kg per bag of nuts as bad weather affected the crop,” he said.

At Palasa-Kasibugga in Srikakulam district, there are about 200 cashew processing units, which require 250-300 tonne nuts per day. On average, these units operate about 250 days in a year.

Nearly 23% of highest offer at Coonoor tea sale unsold

Coonoor, June 5:

Nearly 23 per cent of the year's highest offer of 16.01 lakh at Sale No: 22 of Coonoor Tea Trade Association auctions remained unsold.

Teas worth about Rs 2.13 crore were withdrawn for want of buyers despite shedding Rs 3 a kg.

“Better medium CTC leaf lost Rs 1-2 a kg and plainers suffered withdrawal even after shedding up to Rs 3. Browner sorts eased Rs 2-3.

High-priced sorts, however, sold Rs 2-5 more.

Orthodox leaf gained Rs 2-3. Primary orthodox dusts lost Rs 5-10.

Better medium CTC dusts managed to be steady but plainers eased Rs 1-2. High-priced CTC dusts gained Rs 2-5,” an auctioneer told Business Line.

Homedale Estate tea, auctioned by Global Tea Brokers, topped the CTC market at Rs 137 a kg.

Vigneshwar Estate got Rs 136, Shanthi Supreme Rs 131, Hittakkal Estate Rs 130, Sree Tea Supreme Rs 129, Professor got Rs 126, Deepika Supreme Rs 122 and Garswood Estate clonal Rs 120. In all, 75 marks got Rs 100 and more.

Among orthodox teas from corporate sector, Chamraj got Rs 193, Kairbetta Rs 152, Havukal Rs 150, Highfield Estate Rs 145, Curzon Rs 138, Quinshola clonal Rs 136 and Tiger Hill clonal Rs

131. In all, 20 marks got Rs 100 and more.

On the export front, Pakistan gave strong support for select grades in the wide range of Rs 39a kg.

The CIS bought for Rs 40-76 a kg. There was some buying for European ports.

Quotations held by brokers indicated bids ranging Rs 39-41 a kg for plain leaf grades and Rs 80-130 for brighter liquoring sorts. They ranged Rs 40-44 for plain dusts and Rs 85-130 for brighter liquoring dusts.

Pepper drops on bearish activities

Kochi, June 5:

If the projections about the output in all producing countries turn out to be true, one could come to the conjecture that there is going to be a shortfall in availability this year, and in that case the current price decline might turn out to be a temporary phenomenon.

However, much will depend on the factual position so far as output and availability is concerned as, if one goes by the past experience, the projections and actual availability were never tallied.

The output often remained much above the projections. Given this scenario the market becomes highly speculative and volatile without having any co-relation with the fundamentals.

Though there has been an easier trend in other origins in recent days, the price for Asta grade pepper did not drop below $6,000 a tonne. Indonesia and Brazil were also quoting above $6,000 a tonne.

Indian parity, however, when calculated on the futures market June delivery price, was at above $6,600 a tonne and remained much above the other origins. But, when calculated on the basis of the Karnataka pepper price at Rs 265 a kg the parity would become competitive with other origins. Therefore, some export business might take place directly from Karnataka-based planter/exporters, market sources told Business Line.

Offering at Rs 265 a kg anywhere in India by the Karnataka growers has attracted the upcountry buyers.

Last week the market was down on bearish activities. June, July and August contracts declined by Rs 35, Rs 342 and Rs 351 respectively to close at Rs 29,190, Rs 28,824 and Rs 28,913 a quintal.

Total turn over fell by 20,774 tonnes to 39,996 tonnes while total open interest dropped by 836 tonnes to 14,159 tonnes.

Spot prices on selling pressure dropped by Rs 400 during the week to close at Rs 27,100 (ungarbled) and Rs 27,900 (MG 1) a quintal.

Indian parity in the international market was at around $6,700 a tonne (c&f) and remained out priced.

Kochi tea prices slide on higher arrivals

Kochi, June 5:

With the onset of early monsoon showers at the end of last month, arrivals continued to surge at the Kochi Tea Auction, especially at the leaf tea sales.

There was 14.38 lakh kg of dust and 3.79 lah kg of leaf tea on offer at the auction. With the sumptuous arrivals, prices quoted low at the dust auction. Even the good liquoring grades which were holding firm earlier began to ease at the auction while the other dust varieties quoted even lower.

Almost 40 per cent of the teas remained unsold due to poor and lower bids.

Good liquoring CTC grades found some support from AVT and Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation. Hindustan Unilever and Tata Global remained selective while loose tea traders and upcountry buyers remained subdued. Fair amount of enquiry was witnessed at lower levels.

Although the prices quoted lower at the orthodox dust auction, bulk of the teas on offer were absorbed by exporters.

The buyers found quality declines in Nilgiri orthodox leaf varieties and prices quoted lower.

Medium broken and whole leaf grades sold at last week's levels. Prices of most other grades tended to ease.

Traditional exporters lent fair amount of support. Exporters to Tunisia were more active.

Demand from tea bag exporters remained subdued. There was fair amount of buying at the CTC leaf auction but the prices tended to ease.

Internal buyers lent fair amount of support while exporters focused on quality teas. HUL operated on plainer grades.

At the dust auction Pasuparai SFD fetched the top price at Rs 124. Pascoe's green tea fetched the top price at the leaf auction at Rs 300.

Planting may take a hit

New Delhi, June 5:

For farmers intending to plant basmati – the nursery preparations for which will start now – the ongoing Iran payments imbroglio is not a good augury.

The trade estimates the opening stocks of paddy for the new marketing season from October at around five crore bags (of 50 kg), including three crore of Pusa-1121 and two crore of traditional basmati varieties.

Given annual rice exports of 25 lakh tonnes (lt) or a paddy equivalent of 50 lt, the “normal” opening stock to take care of two months' requirement would be 8.33 lt. That translates into

1.67 crore bags or, say, two crore at the maximum.

That leaves a surplus of three crore bags, the value of which, at last year's average procurement price of Rs 22/kg, comes to Rs 3,300 crore. These stocks are mostly pledged with banks and would have to be milled and liquidated for exporters to be able to repay the loans used to finance their purchases. ICICI, HDFC and Axis Bank are among the banks with major exposure to the basmati industry.



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