INDUSTRY UPDATES on 14th March, 2013

INDUSTRY UPDATES on 14/03/2013

Aluminium futures down 0.19 pc on global cues

 Taking weak cues from global markets, aluminium prices fell marginally to Rs 105.65 per kg in futures trading today as speculators offloaded their positions. 

Further, sluggish demand in the domestic spot markets also weighed on the metal prices. 

At the Multi Commodity Exchange, aluminium for delivery in March declined by 20 paise, or 0.19 per cent, to Rs 105.85 per kg in business turnover of 389 lots. 

Similarly, the metal for delivery in April traded lower by 15 paise, or 0.14 per cent, to Rs 107.35 per kg in 19 lots. 

Globally, aluminium lost 0.8 per cent to $1,966 per tonne. 

Market analysts said the weakness in aluminium at futures trade was mostly in tandem with a downtrend in base metals at the London Metal Exchange and subdued spot demand.

Thermal Power plants worried about Indonesian coal curbs

 India's thermal power plants that import coal are concerned that more restrictions from Indonesia, a key supplier, will put more pressure on electricity generation, which is already suffering from problems including fuel scarcity. 

Power producers are concerned as the economic counsellor at the Indonesian embassy in India, Otto Riadi, was quoted in an agency report as saying that exports of some grades of coal would not be allowed and the fuel would be used to generate power in Indonesia. This would be applicable to traders, not companies that have mines, the diplomat clarified.

Corn to be exported to China in rare deal: Trader

Traders have struck a rare deal to export 13,700 tonnes of corn to China, the world's second largest consumer of the grain, traders said.

SINGAPORE: Traders have struck a rare deal to export 13,700 tonnes of corn to China, the world's second largest consumer of the grain, traders said on Thursday. 

China typically imports corn from the United States as it has yet to resolve quarantine issues with grain from elsewhere, but it has lately been scouting for alternate supplies sinceUS stocks are projected to come in at a 17-year low. 

"This is new-crop corn and this is the first deal we have signed on a trial basis," a leading New-Delhi based trader who signed the deal with a Chinese company told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Singapore. 

The deal was signed at around $275 per tonne free on board for April shipment, the trader said, adding that the cargo was from crop produced in India's southern state of Andhra Pradesh. 

"This is on a trial basis as there are quarantine issues to be resolved," the trader said. "We hope everything will be sorted out soon." 

China has bought more of the United States' new corn crop due to be harvested after September, taking total orders since February to around 600,000 tonnes, traders said this month. 

Rapid urbanization and a rising population have fuelled greater meat consumption in China, the world's second-largest economy, as well as strong demand for feed corn. 

The country -- which became a net importer of corn two years ago -- signed a protocol last year allowing all derivatives of Argentina's corn to enter its market, but traders at the conference said there were still issues to be resolved over genetically modified corn.

Hike import duty on cashew, says CPI(M)

The CPI(M) has demanded imposition of specific duty on imported cashew. CPI(M) MP K.N. Balagopal said cashew was being imported as cattle feed with a low duty. He said at least Rs 250 a kg should be imposed as import duty on cashew.
Balagopal said the cashew industry was hit by such imports as even kernels were being imported, citing cases of under-invoicing. “They are writing a very low price and, hence, a very low percentage of tax is being paid,” he said.
Imported cashew was being used in the domestic market, which makes for about 30 per cent of the total cashew sales, he said. Imported cashew was also being repackaged and exporting in the name of Indian cashew, he said, and added that India’s exports and domestic market were being impacted.
“In India, around 10 lakh people are working in this industry, but the Government is not giving any export promotion benefit to it,” he said.

Rice exports up at 75 lakh tonnes during April-Dec ‘12

Rice exports were at 74.67 lakh tonnes during April-December 2012 against 71.75 lakh tonnes in the full fiscal year of 2011-12, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
“As the export price of Indian rice was more competitive than the Thai rice, India has displaced Thailand from the position of top exporter of rice during 2011-12,” Minister of State Commerce and Industry D Purandeswari said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
She said that export performance of both the countries in coming years would depend upon quantum of production of rice in India and Thailand as also the overall global supply scenario and other nuances of internal trade in agricultural commodities.
In 2010-11, the rice exports stood at 24.71 lakh tonnes from 21.56 lakh tonnes in the previous fiscal.
In a separate reply, the minister said that the customs department has detected import of sub-standard cheap products from China.
In 2010-11, the customs department has detected only three cases in which value of goods involved are worth Rs 0.74 crore. In 2009-10, it had detected 49 cases in which value of goods involved are Rs 2.8 crore.
“The government acts in case goods imported from any source are found to violate these regulations and threaten human, animal or plant life or health,” the minister said.
In specific cases where customs detect import of sub-standard and hazardous goods, they are empowered to seize the goods and initiate penal action.
“In the recent past, the government has taken steps to prevent/restrict import of toys, milk and milk products (including chocolates and candies/confectioneries/food preparation with milk) from China,” she added.
Indian sponge iron industry going down
Business Standard reported that the fall in demand for steel in India has started taking a toll on downstream entities. 

As per report “This financial year, sponge iron producers shut about 8% of the industry's production capacity. About 11% of the output was cut last financial year, as high input costs led to squeezed margins.”

Mr Deependra Kashiva ED of Sponge Iron Manufacturers Association told BS “Until January, sponge iron output was 7.5%% lower. Therefore, we expect by the end of this financial year, production would stand at 19 million tonnes.”

Against 23.26 million tonne in 2010-11, DRI output is set to decline about 20% this year.
Iron ore stocks fall at Chinese major ports

Xinhua reported that China's major ports have seen their iron ore stockpiles fall to a 3 year low due to smaller imports, which analysts believe will help curb the overcapacity problem plaguing China's steelmakers.

A Chinese Internet portal dedicated to the iron and steel industry said that as of March 8th, combined iron ore inventories at 30 major Chinese ports declined by 2.98 million tonne from a week ago to 66.54 million tonne, the lowest level since mid January 2010.

The China Securities Journal said that iron ore stocks decreased to 77.75 million tonne at 34 Chinese ports compared with the previous week.

Mr Zhang Jiabin an analyst at said that iron ore imports dwindled due to seasonal weather that affected shipments from Port Hedland in Australia, adding that the world's major iron ore mines, such as those in Brazil, also exported less in February.

The latest Chinese customs data said that the country imported 56.42 million tonne of iron ore last month, a 13.17% drop YoY and 9.12 million tonne short of the amount imported in January.
Steel imports surge 17.5 pc in April-Jan.
Steel imports during the April-January period of the current fiscal increased 17.5 per cent to 6.567 million tonnes (mt), up from 5.587 mt during the same period of FY 12, according to government data.

The data, compiled by the Steel Ministry's Joint Plant Committee (JPC), pegged flat steel imports at 5.763 mt (up 88 per cent) for the period under review.

Imports of non-flat steel were recorded at 0.804 mt, rising 29 per cent over the same period of the last fiscal.
INR rises further on increased dollar sales
The rupee rose further against the US currency on the interbank foreign exchange market here on Wednesday (March 13) due to increased dollar selling by exporters and banks. It was quoted at 54.10 at the time of going to press.

The currency opened strong at 54.15 against Tuesday's close of 54.18 and continued to move up on increased dollar selling after the US currency weakened against the euro.

According to forex dealers, increased capital inflows into the equity market also helped the rupee firm up against the dollar.

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