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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Cotton: A Steep Revival on Cards amidst Global Shortage

Domestic Scenario

The Cotton Association of India (CAI) estimated the 2012-13 seasons’ cotton production to be 35.3 million bales (170 kg each). The biggest producer of Cotton in the country is Gujarat (34.09 per cent) followed by Maharashtra (20.45 per cent). Other major producers of Cotton in the country are Andhra Pradesh (13.92 per cent), Haryana (7.53 per cent) and Punjab (6.53 per cent). The opening stock for the next season will be 4.25 million bales while the total supply is estimated to be 43.2 million bales. 

International Scenario

Global cotton production is estimated at 25.6 million MT for 2013-14 while consumption is forecast at 24 million MT leaving a surplus of 1.6 million MT, according to International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). Based on China’s 2012-13 cotton estimates, consumption at 8.3 million MT, ending stocks at 9.4 million MT, of which 7.8 million MT are in the national reserve. Production in the United States is falling because of dry weather in some states and high prices of maize and soybeans. Pakistan, Brazil, Uzbekistan and most other countries are expected to produce about as much cotton in 2013-14 as they did in 2012-13. Cotton is expected to continue to lose market share this season to polyester. Despite the loss of market share, world cotton consumption is rising in absolute terms and is estimated at 23.7 million MT in 2013-14. 

Price Trend Analysis

The cotton spot market price variation study indicates that the prices have always been rising in the month of April, all the way till June; thereafter a drop in the prices takes place owing to onset of the sowing season. The demand for cotton improves from the month of September which initiates the upswing in the prices which continues till January owing to increased export demand. World cotton mill use is projected to decrease from 23.8 million MT in 2012-13 to 23.4 million MT in 2013-14. However, world cotton production is likely to exceed mill use for the fourth consecutive season in 2013-14. Consequently, ending stocks are expected to increase from 17.9 million MT to 18.7 million MT. As of June 2013, 9.2 million MT of cotton are estimated to be held by the Chinese national reserve. World trade in cotton is forecast to decline by approximately a million MT to less than 9 million MT. This decline is almost entirely accounted for by reduced imports into China. Shipments from all major exporters are expected to fall, except from the CFA zone where producers are increasing production in 2013-14, and thus exports, in response to higher cotton prices.

As per the study, the prices have been subdued till April 2013. The prices have recovered since then amidst reports of increased demand. However, the prices have again taken a back seat amidst weakening European Demand which has eaten away the comparative advantage enjoyed by the Indian exporters. The retail and stockists are growing up and is expected to improve with the advent of the winter season. In the 2013-14 cotton season, the natural fibre exports from India are expected to remain strong. Seeing the improving trading outlook, the prices are expected to continue on the bullish with few short term dips. 

Production & Price Forecast 

The current year's cotton production is estimated to be 35.3 million bales as against the increased estimate for the next year (Oct 13-Sept 14). The current estimates by CAI for next year’s crop show an overall increase of 1.83 million bales. The State of Gujarat is estimated to produce 11.15 million bales putting it at the number one spot. Maharashtra’s production is estimated at 7.5 million bales and Andhra Pradesh comes third at 6.75 million bales. The market is expected to remain bullish for the year 2014 and the NCDEX Kapas is likely to test INR 1400 from the current levels of INR 950 per 20 Kg.

Monday, 30 December 2013

India Commodity Year Book 2014

The India Commodity Year Book 2014 is a landmark initiative of NCML and is the country’s benchmark reference volume in the commodity sector. The articles cover various aspects of agricultural investment, market reform, warehousing and warehouse receipt finance as well as agro-industry and trade dynamics. The authors are an excellent mix of policy makers, market practitioners, academicians and experts. The Commodity Review and Statistical Appendix have been put together by NCML’s expert in house research team. These sections, along with the authoritative Papers, make this unique publication the country’s most comprehensive reference Book in the commodity space.

The Book would be useful to all commodity participants, especially those connected to the agriculture sector, as well as to the general reader interested in gaining insights into the vast commodity space. The Book has special interest and relevance to policy makers, agricultural researchers and students, economic analysts, commodity and finance professionals, commodity processors, manufacturers, importers and exporters, logistics providers, risk managers and all those engaged along the entire value chain.

Highlights:

Agri Commodity Markets – Quo Vadis - R. Ramaseshan points to the gaps in the commodity eco system and suggests the steps required to bring about the necessary changes.

Indian Sugar: Industry Overview & Prospects Ahead - Asitava Sen gives a comprehensive view of both global as well as domestic trends in the sector.

Enhancing Competitiveness in Indian Agriculture through Grading and Standardisation - Rajesh Sinha and Ranjit Kumar deals with major challenge facing Indian agriculture in absence of grading and standardisation of agricultural produce

Futures Market as an Early Warning System for a Sustainable Food Security Programme - Pallavi Oak proposes an innovative solution through the futures market .

Right to Food Legislation: an Objective Evaluation - Sanjay Kaul notes pros and cons of the right to food legislation.

Warehouse Receipt Finance – A win-win Game for All - Subramanian M.V., Ashish Kumar and Yatharth Dhoot details the importance of WHR finance in the commodity market eco-system.

Commodity Markets in India: Immediate Need to Restore Credibility - Shyamal Gupta points to the need to restore the confidence in the market through regulatory measures so that there is no repeat of NSEL.

Risks: Classification, Measurement & Mitigation - Girish Aivalli identifies the various types of risks prevalent in the commodity market and indicates the mitigation measures.

Gold – Changing Perceptions, Changing Tides - Naveen Mathur explores the changing demand perceptions, especially in the context of the financial crisis that has gripped the world economy since 2007. The Paper traces the evolution of the gold trade, the functioning of the gold standard and the rise of the US $ as the de facto world currency.

You can place your order for your copy/copies of the Book by mailing to hanish.s@ncmsl.com or suresh.s@ncmsl.com or research@ncmsl.com.

For India: 
The cost of the book is Rs. 995.00 only (+ Rs. 150.00 for Courier Charges for outside Mumbai and for Mumbai it is Rs. 75.00)

For Outside India: 
The cost of the book is USD 16.25 (+ Courier Charges as per Actual)

Mode of Payment:

1. Payment can be made in form of Cheque/ Draft in favour of National Collateral Management Services Ltd payable at Mumbai.

2. Other mode of payment is through online net banking, details of which is given the below.
ICICI 000405022397
RTGS/NEFT Code :ICIC0000004
Nariman Point, Mumbai

Friday, 27 December 2013

Sugar Tastes Bitter as Demand Slackens

Domestic Scenario
Indian Sugar production during the year 2012-13 is estimated at around 24.5 million MT, lower by 2.00 per cent, compared to 25.00 million MT during the preceding year, owing to lower sugar realization and decrease in area for sugarcane production. Since last couple of years, the production has been declining owing to consistently lower prices and lack of support from the millers in spite of the government’s initiatives. Sugar is a derived product of sugarcane. The biggest producer of sugarcane in the country is Uttar Pradesh (37.2 per cent) followed by Maharashtra (23.5 per cent). Other major producers of sugarcane in the country are Karnataka (11.2 per cent), Tamil Nadu (10.6 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (4.4 per cent). In terms of sugar production, Maharashtra is the biggest producer (36.5 per cent) followed by Uttar Pradesh (26.0 per cent). This is due to the high recovery rate in Maharashtra as the sugarcane crop in the state is of a longer duration than that in Uttar Pradesh.

International Scenario
Global sugar production for 2013/14 is forecast at 174.85 million MT, narrowly setting a record with growth in Brazil and Thailand more than offsetting sharply lower production in India. International raw sugar prices are at levels not seen in nearly three years with prices less than half the peak set in February 2011. Brazil continues to be the leading producer of sugar (22.12 per cent) followed majorly by EU -27 (10.08 per cent), China (8.01 per cent), Thailand (5.67 per cent) & US (4.69 per cent). Global sugar consumption is projected at 167.35 million MT in 2013-14. The global ending stock for sugar is on the high at 38.23 million MT.

Price Trend Analysis
The Sugar spot market price variation study indicates that the prices have been subdued since October 2012 owing to reports of lower demand and lack of support initiatives from the government. In the global market, sugar fell 39 per cent in the last two years and is down 8.5 per cent this year. The sweetener is thus, the worst performing commodity in the Standard & Poor’s gauge of 24 raw materials in 2013. On the other hand, global import demand is likely fall to 50.7 million MT in 2012-13 from 53.2 million MT a year earlier, while export availability will be little changed at 53.9 million MT compared with 54 million MT. Thus, the lower global trade estimates are still hinting at the weakness in the prices.

As per the study, the prices have been weakening since the peak in October 2012. The prices have maintained a lower trajectory amidst lower export demand and lack of focus for the crop from the industries. In the Indian market, retail and stockists demand continues to be weak. Market is oversupplied. Many mills in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are floating tenders as they need money to make cane payments. India's carry-forward stocks of sugar on October 1st 2013 are estimated at 8 million MT, up from 6.2 million MT a year earlier. India could export as much as 3 million tonnes of sugar in 2013-14 to get rid of excess supply, capitalizing on rising demand from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Production Price Forecast
Sugar production in India is estimated to touch 25 million MT in the sugar season 2013-14 starting from October. As per the estimate by industry body ISMA (Indian Sugar Mills Association), the availability of cane acreage for crushing in sugar season 2013-14, will be around 52.89 lakh hectares. This year, in spite of good rainfall received during the current monsoon season in major producing regions, the lack of possibility of getting remunerative prices for the crop is likely to lower the overall production. The upcoming season is likely to see sugarcane production of around 335-340 million MT. the Indian market is likely to trade between Rs. 2650 per quintal on the lower side and to the max of Rs. 3400 per quintal on the up.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Silver on Brink of Steep Revival: Invest Fresh for Assured Returns

 Domestic Scenario

In India the silver demand and imports fell 80 per cent in 2012. The fall in demand has a direct reflection on import, though India produces sizable silver, unlike gold where the country is totally import-dependent. In 2012, India's silver demand for investment was just 300 MT, against 1,549 MT in 2011. India's total demand for silver was 3,234 MT in 2012 against 4,437 MT in 2011. The import was 1,900 MT in 2012, against 4,087 MT in 2011. Silver prices peaked in April 2011, at a global $48.4 an ounce. India has been producing silver as a byproduct of refining zinc and copper. In recent years, Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) has emerged as the largest silver refiner. In 2012-13, it produced 408 MT and taking into account production by other metal refiners, total production is estimated at a little over 500 MT. In 2011, India was 17th among global silver producers, with 7.5 million ounces. It was 13th in 2012, with production of 12.7 million ounces.  

International Scenario

Global silver mine production grew last year, by 4 per cent, rising to a new record of 787.0 Moz (24,478 MT). By-product output from the lead/zinc sector provided much of the growth, up by 9 per cent, with strong growth in China, Mexico and India. Primary silver mine supply grew only slightly in 2012, by 1 per cent. Primary silver total cash costs rose by 9 per cent, to $8.88/oz, as credits from base metal by-product revenues fell, coupled with lower grades and higher input cost inflation. Total fabrication in 2012 dropped by 6.6 per cent to 846.8 Moz (26,339 MT), reflecting losses in all areas. Industrial fabrication fell the second year in a row, easing by 4.5 per cent to 465.9 Moz (14,490 MT), due mainly to patchy GDP growth and thrifting. Implied net investment surged by 21 per cent to a fresh all-time high of 160.0 Moz (4,976 MT).

Price Trend Analysis

The annual average silver price decreased by 11 per cent in 2012, to $31.15, the first retracement since 2009. This is in contrast to the trend in the gold price, which increased by 6 per cent to reach a fresh (nominal) high.  Silver traded in a narrower range in 2012 than in 2011, with a range:average ratio of 34 per cent versus 64 per cent, while silver’s volatility in 2012 was 29 per cent, compared to 61 per cent in 2011. Meanwhile, the annual average gold:silver ratio increased from 45 in 2011 to 54 in 2012, indicating a degree of underperformance from silver. Silver opened 2012 with a fix of $28.78 and rallied smartly, wiping out December losses before the end of January and moving on rapidly to post what proved to be the year’s high on February 29th at $37.23. The reversal at the start of March was triggered by the reaction to Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke’s testimony to Congress, where his lack of reference to QE3 was taken by some to mean that the likelihood of more easing was receding. The weakness from current levels is limited and prices are expected to move northward after minimal correction. 

Production & Price Forecast

Supply of silver from above-ground stocks fell by 7.5 per cent to 261.3 Moz in 2012, driven by a continued decline in government stock sales, a drop in scrap supply, and the absence of net-producer hedging. Producer de-hedging added 41.5 Moz to the demand equation in 2012. Government stock sales fell a staggering 39 per cent to a 15-year low of 7.4 Moz. A continued decline in disposals from Russia and an absence of government stock sales from China and India were the primary factors. A drop in western supplies of recycled jewellery and silverware, combined with further falls from photographic sources, drove silver scrap supply down further by 1.6 per cent to 253.9 Moz. Silver in international market is expected to move up beyond 22 USD / Oz by end 2014 with firm support at 18.24 USD / Oz.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Crude Oil: Middle East Stability Continues to be in Focus

Domestic Scenario
India is among the largest energy consumers in the world along with the US, China and Russia. The country meets over 75 per cent of its crude oil requirement through imports. The country’s refining capacity stood at 215 million MT per annum as on April 1, 2013, up 68.87 per cent since 2004-05. It is further projected to go up to 2,64.966 million MT by 2015-16, which means that refiners will have to depend more on crude imports to run the plants. India’s Oil output fell by 7.5 per cent year-on-year.  

International Scenario
Global oil production increased by 1.9 million b/d, or 2.2 per cent. OPEC accounted for about three-quarters of the global increase despite a decline in Iranian output (-6,80,000 b/d) due to international sanctions. Libyan output (+1 million b/d) nearly regained all of the ground lost in 2011. For a second consecutive year, output reached record levels in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar. Iraq and Kuwait also registered significant increases. Non-OPEC output grew by 4,90,000 b/d, with increases in the US (+1 million b/d), Canada, Russia and China offsetting unexpected outages in Sudan/South Sudan (down 3,40,000 b/d) and Syria (-1,60,000 b/d), as well as declines in mature provinces such as the United Kingdom and Norway. China again recorded the largest increment to global consumption growth (+4,70,000 b/d, +5 per cent) although the growth rate was below the 10-year average. Japanese consumption grew by 2,50,000 b/d (+6.3 per cent), the strongest growth increment since 1994.

Price Trend Analysis
The year started off with the overthrow of the Egyptian government by the military, followed by port workers strike in Libya followed by chemical weapons use in Syria which brought the US to the brink of war. Iran has faced dwindling exports in recent years as countries have banded together to form tight sanctions against them. Even Iran’s top four crude buyers, according to Reuters – China, India, Japan and South Korea – cut crude purchases by 16 per cent in the first eight months of 2013. And surprisingly, China’s manufacturing sector expanded less in September than was estimated.
Syria pushed oil to a two-year high as the possibility of a U.S.-led attack threatened to escalate the Syrian conflict and disrupt Middle East supplies. Syria is right next to Iraq, the second-biggest OPEC producer. The Middle East accounted for roughly 35 percent of the global oil output in the first quarter of 2013.  The crude prices are also guided by the development in the US. The jump in the US jobless claims to the highest level in six months provided the first warning that the damage from the partial federal shutdown is starting to ripple through the economy. Downside pressures on oil prices may also come from China’s data. The world’s second largest oil consumer is poised to post its first slowdown in export growth in three months.

Production & Price Forecast
Forecast non-OPEC liquid fuels production increases by 1.5 million bbl/d in both 2013 and 2014. Growing non-OPEC liquid fuels production contributes to a decline in the call on OPEC crude oil and global stocks (world consumption less non-OPEC production and OPEC non-crude oil production), which falls from an average of 30.2 million bbl/d in 2013 to 29.6 million bbl/d in 2014. EIA projects total OPEC liquid fuels production to decline by 0.8 million bbl/d in 2013 and by an additional 0.3 million bbl/d in 2014. The declines in 2013 mostly reflect supply outages among some OPEC producers, along with an overall decrease in Saudi Arabia's production in response to the increase in non-OPEC supply. EIA estimates that OECD commercial oil inventories at the end of 2012 totaled 2.65 billion barrels, equivalent to roughly 58 days of supply. OECD oil inventories are projected to end 2013 at 2.58 billion barrels and end 2014 at 2.57 billion barrels (56 days of supply). The price of crude oil is expected to remain balanced in the range of USD 117 per barrel on the upside and USD 72 per barrel on the lower side for the year 2014.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Copper Prices Dwindling with Profound Weakness amidst Global Uncertainties

Domestic Scenario
India is among the top 20 major producers of copper globally. Over 30 per cent of India’s copper demand comes from the telecom sector and 26 per cent from the electrical sector in India. In addition, the building and construction, engineering, transport and consumer durables sectors are major consumers of copper in India. These sectors stand to benefit the most from lower prices of copper. During the last few years, India’s switch from net importer to exporter is due to a rise in production by three companies: Sterlite Industries, Hindalco, and Hindustan Copper. Hindalco and Sterlite industries account for more than 80% of India’s total copper production. The Indian industry imports raw copper from Chile, Indonesia, Australia, and Canada and exports finished products to various destinations. 

International Scenario
Mine production rose 715,000 MT or 4.5 per cent to 16.023 million MT in 2012 from the previous year, according to the ICSG. There were increases in China (26 per cent) DRC (21 per cent), Mexico (18 per cent), Peru (five per cent) and Chile (three per cent), which more than offset declining output in Indonesia (26 per cent) and Australia (four per cent). The average world mine capacity utilisation rate climbed to 82 per cent in 2012 from 80.6 per cent in 2011. Refined output increased 485,000 MT or 2.5 percent to 20.132 million MT in 2012 compared with 2011, with primary output up 2.3 percent and secondary output up 3.3 per cent. The main increases came from China (11 per cent) via new capacity; Japan (14 per cent), where the industry recovered from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the DRC (28 per cent), where new capacity was brought on line. Output declined six percent in Chile, three percent in the US and 45 per cent in the Philippines after a fire at the country’s sole smelter. Capacity utilisation dropped to 79 per cent from 80.6 per cent in 2011.

Price Trend Analysis
In late 2012 and early 2013, optimism was running high that the US economic recovery would continue and that China would move into recovery mode too. On the strength of that, metal prices ran higher while investment interest picked up. Although US data has tended to remain upbeat, Chinese data has been less constructive and a recovery in demand during the first quarter has proved to be fairly elusive. This forced a reappraisal of the outlook for commodity demand and a corresponding correction in prices. The market was in a deficit of 3,40,000 MT in 2012, according to preliminary data from the International Copper Study Group (ICSG), but it had swung into a surplus in October and remained in one for the whole of the fourth quarter – totaling 2,37,000 MT.
How 2013 turns out is likely to be determined by the extent to which consumers feel the need to restock. Manufacturing PMIs have become quite mixed – the US ISM number climbed to 54.2 in February from 53.1 in January and 50.7 in December but then dropped to 51.3 in March, which suggest the US recovery is still stop/start. Copper has had some of the tightest fundamentals of all the metals in recent years, which is no doubt why prices have managed to hold so far above the marginal cost of production. On paper, the market looks set to move into a supply surplus in 2013, which should in theory put downward pressure on prices; indeed, that seems to have been unfolding in recent months.
Estimates & Price Forecast
China runs a structural copper deficit, with refined consumption of around 8.8 million MT and refined production of around 5.6 million MT; it seems unlikely that much of the Chinese stockpile will leave the country. Asia is accounting for 87 per cent of the increase in capacity – the China, India, Indonesia and Iran totals will all increase. Refined capacity would reach 30 million MT per year by the end of 2016, a rise of 18 per cent from 2012. The price of copper is likely to remain in tight range for the year 2014 with predominant weakness. Any rise in the price would be a level to sell fresh in futures. The range of the Indian MCX would be INR 484 on the higher side with possibility of its tumbling to INR 340 & below in 2014.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Gold Glitter Likely to Dominate the Investment World in 2014

Demand for gold is one thing to look at but the other essential part of the equation with metals is supply - mines are expensive and time consuming to build. When it comes to the precious metals there is also monetary demand as some Central banks look to increase their gold reserves as a hedge against currency weakness. The Gold producers have been closing forward contract sales of gold over the last few years and this has accelerated during 2007 as giant losses mounted. The biggest operators in the industry are closing these hedge books with loans, early physical supply of gold and out of revenue.

It’s impossible not to conclude that central banks, commercial banks and wealthy individuals have, are, or will attempt to manipulate gold prices -it is in their interests. For central banks, it has been done in attempts to wean investors off the idea that gold is money and onto the concept that government-issued currencies are the only real money.
Chinese buying of gold in a big way can also be a form of manipulation. We will never be given accurate statistics on Chinese gold buying unless it suits them for us to know. What’s clear is that they have managed to acquire between 2,000 and 2,800 tonnes of gold in 2013, while the price of gold has been dropping.

In the recent times, impelled by the sentiments from the announcement of the US Federal Reserve to scale back its controversial monthly bond buying program, commodities across the globe are trading mixed. The Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in his last FOMC meeting yesterday said that the US apex bank will reduce the pace of its asset purchases to $75 billion from $85 billion a month, starting from January 2014. Spot gold extended previous day’s southward action and dropped to the lowest point in six months, breaking the psychological level of $1200 a troy ounce.

Is spite of the sharp drop in the gold prices I feel that the bulls are eventually going to win over bears amidst weakening dollar and increased hedge demand from currency traders and Central Banks. The best time to buy gold is when the market hates it. As per my analysis the global market is having a very firm support a $1168 a troy ounce and has good potential to shoot above 1250 in the coming 3-5 weeks.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Guar Seed: Steep Price Upsurge Expected after Massive Plunge

 Supply & Demand Scenario

India continues to be the leading producer of guar seed in the world with a total share of over 80-85 per cent of the global supply. The country’s guar seed production for the year 2012-13 is estimated to be 1.6 million MT against 1.25 million MT last year. The biggest producer of guar seed in the country continues to be Rajasthan (83.37 per cent) followed by Haryana (13.08 per cent). Other major producers of Gaur seed in the country are Gujarat (3.38 per cent), Punjab (0.18 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (0.09 per cent). The opening stock for the next season will be 60 lakh MT while the total supply is estimated to be 2.0 to 2.2 million MT.

The consumption pattern of guar seeds is largely influenced by the demands from the petroleum industry of United States of America and the oil fields in the Middle East as the derivative products of these seeds are quite useful in the petroleum drilling industries.  The USA is the largest consumer of guar gum with an annual consumption of 45,000 tonnes which represents 25 per cent of world trade. Germany & Japan consume another 23 per cent with the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands combining take further 22 per cent of world trade. With the recent surge in the prices of guar seed to over Rs. 25000, the major importing nations have resorted to new synthetic products leaving the guar exporters in a fix.

Price Trend Analysis
The guar seed spot market price variation study indicates that the prices have always been declining since the re-launch of the futures trade in Indian Exchanges. Exports which touched record 7.07 lakh MT in FY 2011-12, declined in FY 2012-13 as US, the largest importer of Guar gum has stocked huge inventories. During the FY 2012-13, guar gum exports stood at 4.58 lakh MT during April 2012-February 2013. This situation is likely to change in the coming months as the prices have already corrected over 60 per cent in the recent months. The market is also finding support from the traders owing to increased demand from the stockiest and global industries. The Indian market is expected to find strong support at the levels of 3900-4000 and has good potential of reaching 7000 and 9000 on the higher side.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Rapeseed / Mustard Preparing for a Sharp Upsurge from Current Levels

Supply & Demand Scenario



India’s rape seed production in 2012-13 is estimated at around 78.20 lakh MT, up from around 66.04 lakh MT produced in 2011-12. About 62.40 per cent of the total production for the country was contributed by 2 states. The top rapeseed producing states of the country are Rajasthan (47.05 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (15.34 per cent). Rape seed being a Rabi crop, sown during October to December is highly dependent on good monsoon. This year, good rainfall received during the current monsoon season in major producing regions will certainly provide the required soil moisture during the sowing period. The upcoming season is likely to witness a production of around 6.5 to 7.5 million MT. India holds second position in the major rape seed consumers list after China.

Global production of rapeseed in 2013-14 is projected to increase 4 percent to 63.4 million MT due to improved crops in the EU-27, Canada, Ukraine, Russia, and India. After declining in 2012/13, the growth in international trade of rapeseed could resume. Based on a 5-per cent increase in the 2013/14 area to 6.5 million hectares, EU-27 rapeseed production is projected rising to 20 million MT from 19.1 million MT last year. However, low global stocks of rapeseed are likely to persist as consumption may outpace the increase in total supplies. Even with a bigger crop, EU rapeseed imports for 2013-14 may stay level at 3.1 million MT. Additional imports would probably come from Ukraine, which is likely to support the global prices.

Price Trend Analysis & Forecast

The rape seed market price variation study indicates that the price volatility is on the rise since May 2006 owing to reports of higher seasonal demand. Looking at the seasonal trend Rapeseed prices tend to remain strong during the months of August through December amid the strong crush demand for seed during the festive season and slackening crop arrivals. European Union continues to be the major importer of RM seed and RM seed oil with an expected hike of 38.64 per cent and 14.58 per cent respectively. Thus it is expected that with the reports of shrinkage in production and enhancement of demand, the global prices of rapeseed will find increased support from the European Union in 2013. Moreover, Additional imports are likely to come from Ukraine. Based on a sharp increase in area (up 54 per cent to 1 million hectares) and low winterkill, the Ukraine rapeseed crop is expected to swell 43 per cent in 2013/14 to 2 million MT. Almost all of Ukraine’s additional rapeseed production would be used to expand exports to 1.9 million MT.
The spot prices at Jaipur are gradually moving upward due to support from the increased meal demand from the south-east Asian countries. The Indian market is expected to find support at Rs. 3200 per quintal and has good possibility of testing Rs. 4200 & 4550 in 2014 on the higher side.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Soybean Complex: Awaiting a Sharp Uptrend

Soybean has been the major component of the oil seed crop for India. Of the total nine oilseed crops production it contributes to about 35.00 per cent. In recent times the stock management of soybean and enhanced demand is imposing serious challenge for the country owing to the prevalent economic crises in European Union and improving demand in the global markets. There is a need for an effective price and stock management strategy in order to achieve maximum advantage of the expected price hike.
India’s Soybean production in 2012-13 is estimated at around 127.32 lakh MT, up from around 122.14 lakh MT produced in 2011-12. India’s support prices in 2013-14 are hiked by about 14 per cent from the levels in 2012-13 with MSP of Rs. 2500 per quintal for black soybean and Rs. 2560 per quintal for yellow soybean. About 93.92 per cent of the total production in the country was contributed by 3 states. The top soybean producing states of the country are Madhya Pradesh (52.03 per cent), Maharashtra (32.63 per cent) and Rajasthan (9.26 per cent). India holds second position in the major soybean oil consumer’s list after China. The Indian government has imported 8.54 million MT of edible oil in the marketing year 2012-13 (October – September) out of which about 0.85 million MT was soybean oil.
Global soybean production is projected almost unchanged at a record 281.7 million MT as larger crop forecasts for Brazil and Paraguay mostly offset reductions for the United States, Canada, China, and Russia. Soybean production for US is 85.7 million MT, Brazil is forecasted to produce a record 88 million MT, up 3 million MT on increased area. Argentina is expected to reach 54 million MT and soybean production for China is reduced 0.3 million MT to 12.2 million MT, with lower yields resulting from excess rainfall and flooding in the northeast. If realized, this would be China’s smallest soybean harvest since 1992-93.
The soybean market price variation study indicates that the price volatility is on the rise since June 2010 owing to reports of higher seasonal demand. Looking at the price trends of the past years, the prices tend to decline during the June-Sep. period on increased hopes of higher oilseed sowings in Kharif and across northern hemisphere oilseed growing countries. The surge in demand starts towards end October and reaches peak by May.  In 2012-13, the Indian Soybean prices have followed similar pattern from the current levels following increased demand from Chinese traders. The demand side is bullish. The USDA is forecasting a 4% increase in U.S. exports, but export commitments to date show that sales are ahead by 15.8%. The entire anticipated increase comes from China. The estimate for Chinese imports is 69 million MT, up 9.5 million MT, or 16 per cent from last year.
India’s soybean production for the crop year 2013-14 (July - June) is expected to reach around 104.50 Lakh MT. The expectation of a lower crop and increased export demand (over 10 million MT) is expected to keep the prices bullish with increased volatility.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Gold –The Only Time Tested Friend for Investors

Like other asset classes, a gold investment is associated with risks. The price of gold can fluctuate strongly in the short term and also in the long term. Over very long periods of time gold does show a high and – from our perspective – unique stability or wealth preservation. However, such periods can be too long for individual investors. On the other hand, for any risk averse investor an addition of gold contributes to the diversification of his/her investment portfolio. Due to the low correlation of gold with other asset classes, a gold investment reduces the (price) risk for the investor and therefore can reduce potential losses. Professional and courageous investors can speculate on a specific gold price development. For safety-oriented investors it is recommended – also in light of the lack of a regular income or interest from a gold investment a form of insurance. Unlike possibly individual stocks, bonds and other securities, gold will never lose its value completely. Conservative investors should invest only a portion of their total assets in gold. From being inherited as a family’s wealth and possession to becoming a part of one’s portfolio, investment in gold has become diverse. While long-term values associated with gold continue even in today’s era, the diversified investment products have, however, brought in immense opportunities for gold bulls. People have been running towards gold investments since 2001 well supported by aggressive rise in consumption levels in India & China.
As far as investment in gold is concerned, a retail investor can hold gold in the following ways – physical form like coins/bars or jewellery, trades on the futures platform, investments in gold ETFs, the spot market platform, gold savings fund and invest in gold-based equity stocks. With an endless list of investment avenues within gold, the investors are being spoilt for choice. Investment in gold ETFs began in 2004 internationally and this gave investors a new approach towards gold investments. SPDR Gold Trust is the world’s largest gold ETF and its holdings have surged from a mere 8 tonnes at the time of inception in November 2004 to above 900 tonnes currently.
Looking at the price trends in gold, prices started the down trend since August 2012. Gold’s ability to stage further price gains for the remainder of the year will largely depend on developments in the US and its labour market which, while still fragile, has shown improvements in recent months. Indeed, particularly since the Fed has tied its QE mandate towards developments in the unemployment rate, the FOMC meetings and the non-farm payroll releases have almost become price trend determining events. The other factors to be closely watched are festival periods for jewellery purchases (particularly in China and India), recent geopolitical tensions in Syria which could lead to a wider Middle East conflict and the proposed Fed tapering of EQ3 which would lead gold to another downside rally.
In the international market, Global mine production in the first half of 2013 increased by 41 MT or 3 per cent, to total 1,416 MT. Geographically, gains were diverse, with notable increases in China, the Dominican Republic, Canada and Russia. Global scrap supply fell by 14 per cent in the first half of 2013 to an estimated 662 MT chiefly as a result of weaker gold prices. Jewellery fabrication jumped up by 22.8 per cent in the first half, in response to a marked decline in gold prices. Net official sector purchase has dropped by 32.0 per cent to 191 MT in the first half of 2013. Producers’ de-hedging has increased, with some miners taking advantage of lower prices to close positions. World Investment plunged by 28.3 per cent to 517 MT in the first half of 2013, the lowest figure since 2009.
The decline in the confidence of investors in gold was also evidently visible in India. The weakening of Indian rupee also weighed on the gold prices with the government undertaking several steps to curb its imports. In spite of all curbs & restrictions, India continues to be the second largest consumer of physical gold in the world with a share of 28 per cent and is next to China which consumes 33 per cent of the world gold production. The World Gold Council expects demand for the yellow metal to touch 900 to 1000 MT in 2013 against 863 MT in 2012 despite government measures to curb demand in a bid to control current account deficit. The demand in the first half this year was at 567 MT. Indian jewellery fabrication jumped by 25 per cent in the first half of the year to almost 350 MT, as demand for jewellery soared in the second quarter in response to the price retreat. Owing to government measures India's gold imports crashed 95 per cent in August 2013 to just 2.5 MT from a July 2013, easing pressure on policymakers as they struggle to contain the depreciation of the Indian rupee to the US dollar.
From the Indian perspective, gold has always been seen as a saviour in times of financial crisis and the pledge or sale of gold has helped investors reap benefits of investments made earlier. Hence, even though the commodity is under stress in the current scenario, the emotional value towards the metal that has been existent since centuries will not be shaken up completely. Although trends in demand patterns will change and the outlook of investors will evolve, the role of gold as an important investment asset will continue in the years to come. In the years 2011 and 2012 gold has again witnessed a decline in demand as sentiments towards the improvement in the US economy have become positive and additionally, investors are now seeking different investment avenues considering the fact that the nature of price drivers that affect gold prices has become very volatile.
I feel that the inflationary impact would continue to be seen as crude oil prices remain high, thus keeping a positive factor of inflation-hedge demand. While the Federal Reserve is expected to begin tapering of the stimulus, other major economies like Europe and Japan are likely to see a continuation of the stimulus. China too is expected to announce some measures in order to boost economic growth. Such liquidity and boosting actions by central bankers would create an inflationary scenario going forward and thus support demand for the yellow metal. The overall trend in the gold prices is expected to be bullish and the Indian market is likely to trade between 25700 on the lower side and 35200 on the higher side for the year ending 2014.

Progress of Indian Agriculture in 2013-14

The year 2012-13 has been a year of phenomenal growth for the Indian agriculture. As per the fourth advance estimates the total food grain production is likely to be 255.36 million MT. Wheat production for 2012-13 is estimated at a record 92.46 million MT and rice is expected to expected to reach 104.4 million MT. over the years Indian agriculture has come a long way on the upward growth cycle. Currently India ranks first in the production of milk, pulses, jute and jute-like fibers; second in rice, wheat, sugarcane, groundnut, vegetables, fruits and cotton production; and is a leading producer of spices and plantation crops as well as livestock, fisheries and poultry. The rapid growth of agriculture is essential not only for self-reliance but also for meeting the food and nutritional security of the people, to bring about equitable distribution of income and wealth in rural areas as well as to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life.

The performance of the Indian commodity market has been exceptional in the year 2012-13. India has improved its position in agricultural and food exports to 10th globally, backed by policy impetus by the government. Total exports of Indian agri and processed food products from April 2012 to March 2013 stood at Rs 11,633,168.41 lakh (US$ 17.26 billion) as compared to Rs 8,248,025.32 lakh (US$ 12.23 billion) during the same period last year. The especial contribution to the export basket was from the spices and processed food sector. India recorded an increase of 22 per cent in the export of spices and spice-based products during 2012-13 to touch 699,170 tonnes, as against 575,270 tonnes in the previous financial year. The Soymeal exports during June 2013 were 213,400 tonnes as compared to 180,900 tonnes in the same period of previous year registering an increase of 18 per cent.


Food security still remains a highly sensitive issue in many parts of the world, especially with India, which has to feed nearly a 1.2 billion population, and it is expected to see a return of government interventions, which could exacerbate food and commodity price volatility. The volatility of commodity prices has always been a major concern of the producers as well as the consumers in an agriculture dominated country like India. The movement in the prices is directly linked to the commodity fundamentals. Fundamentals, including unexpected changes in global economic conditions linked to the strong growth in demand of emerging market economies have played a key role in driving developments in commodity markets. Other factors that have also played a role are supply shortfalls and monetary policy, and in recent years, various ad hoc policy interventions. Price movements have also been exacerbated by various structural problems in the supply and distribution chains of different commodities.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

An Interesting Fact about Gold........in India

Gold prices have been the barometer of the confidence of the investors since long. It has always been a safe haven for the investors. Gold prices are volatile whenever the global economy is fraught with uncertainties. The recent financial crisis of the European Union countries and the subsequent spike in the gold prices is a case in point. The prices in the futures have by far moved in tandem with the seasonality of the Spot market. The peaking of the price in the months between July and October or the dip in the prices towards the middle of the third quarter has been the normal pattern.

The details of Indian market analysis also reveal a more bullish outlook for the yellow metal.  As per an estimate about 18,000 tonnes of gold in India are held by households. Indian gold demand has grown 25 per cent despite a 400 per cent Rupee price rise in the last decade. Gold demand is strong and is expected to increase 30 per cent by 2020. By 2020, cumulative annual demand for gold in India will increase to in excess of 1,200 tonnes. India's rapid growth, which will have significant impact on income and savings, will lead to more gold being purchased by almost 3 per cent per annum over the next decade. Indian growth is expected to be around 10 per cent GDP in the next decade, which is sufficient to support the bulls in the investment world.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Gold and Silver outlook in 2014

How would demand and supply pan out in 2014.

Global mine production in the first half of 2013 increased by 41 MT or 3 per cent, to total 1,416 MT. Geographically, gains were diverse, with notable increases in China, the Dominican Republic, Canada and Russia. Global scrap supply fell by 14 per cent in the first half of 2013 to an estimated 662 MT chiefly as a result of weaker gold prices. Jewellery fabrication jumped by 22.8 per cent in the first half, in response to a marked decline in gold prices. Net official sector purchase has dropped by 32.0 per cent to 191 MT in the first half of 2013.

What would be the major triggers for gold prices in 2014?

Looking at the price trends in gold, prices started the down trend since August 2012. Gold’s ability to stage further price gains for the remainder of the year will largely depend on developments in the US and its labour market which, while still fragile, has shown improvements in recent months. Indeed, particularly since the Fed has tied its QE mandate towards developments in the unemployment rate, the FOMC meetings and the non-farm payroll releases have almost become price trend determining events. The other factors to be closely watched are festival periods for jewellery purchases (particularly in China and India), recent geopolitical tensions in Syria which could lead to a wider Middle East conflict and the proposed Fed tapering of EQ3 which would lead gold to another downside rally.

Tell us how volatile gold would be in 2014.

From the Indian perspective, gold has always been seen as a saviour in times of financial crisis and the pledge or sale of gold has helped investors reap benefits of investments made earlier. Hence, even though the commodity is under stress in the current scenario, the emotional value towards the metal that has been existent since centuries will not be shaken up completely. Although trends in demand patterns will change and the outlook of investors will evolve, the role of gold as an important investment asset will continue in the years to come. In the years 2011 and 2012 gold has again witnessed a decline in demand as sentiments towards the improvement in the US economy have become positive and additionally, investors are now seeking different investment avenues considering the fact that the nature of price drivers that affect gold prices has become very volatile.

What is the outlook for gold in 2014?

I feel that the inflationary impact would continue to be seen as crude oil prices remain high, thus keeping a positive factor of inflation-hedge demand. While the Federal Reserve is expected to begin tapering of the stimulus, other major economies like Europe and Japan are likely to see a continuation of the stimulus. China too is expected to announce some measures in order to boost economic growth. Such liquidity and boosting actions by central bankers would create an inflationary scenario going forward and thus support demand for the yellow metal. The overall trend in the gold prices is expected to be bullish and the Indian market is likely to trade between 25700 on the lower side and 35200 on the higher side for the year ending 2014.

How should one invest in gold in 2014?

Like other asset classes, a gold investment is associated with risks. The price of gold can fluctuate strongly in the short term and also in the long term. Over very long periods of time gold does show a high and – from our perspective – unique stability or wealth preservation. However, such periods can be too long for individual investors. On the other hand, for any risk averse investor an addition of gold contributes to the diversification of his/her investment portfolio. Due to the low correlation of gold with other asset classes, a gold investment reduces the (price) risk for the investor and therefore can reduce potential losses. Professional and courageous investors can speculate on a specific gold price development. For safety-oriented investors it is recommended – also in light of the lack of a regular income or interest from a gold investment a form of insurance. Unlike possibly individual stocks, bonds and other securities, gold will never lose its value completely. Conservative investors should invest only a portion of their total assets in gold.

How silver would perform in 2014.

In India the silver demand and imports into India fell 80 per cent in 2012. The fall in demand has a direct reflection on import, though India produces sizable silver, unlike gold where the country is totally import-dependent. In 2012, India's silver demand for investment was just 300 MT, against 1,549 MT in 2011. India's total demand for silver was 3,234 MT in 2012 against 4,437 MT in 2011. The import was 1,900 MT in 2012, against 4,087 MT in 2011. Silver prices peaked in April 2011, at a global $48.4 an ounce. In the global market, primary silver mine supply grew only slightly in 2012, by 1 per cent. Primary silver total cash costs rose by 9 per cent, to $8.88/oz, as credits from base metal by-product revenues fell, coupled with lower grades and higher input cost inflation. Total fabrication in 2012 dropped by 6.6 per cent to 846.8 Moz (26,339 MT), reflecting losses in all areas. Industrial fabrication fell the second year in a row, easing by 4.5 per cent to 465.9 Moz (14,490 MT), due mainly to patchy GDP growth and thrifting. Implied net investment surged by 21 per cent to a fresh all-time high of 160.0 Moz (4,976 MT). The overall trend in the silver prices is expected to be bullish and the Indian market is likely to trade between 41000 on the lower side and 64000 on the higher side for the year ending 2014.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Kharif crop estimates for 2013-14

Indian agriculture is always under increased pressure on account of consistent population growth (Annual 1.53 per cent) and its extensive reliability on monsoon rains. In the recent times the impact of global warming has increased the uncertainty in both time and amount of rains in the monsoon season.

As per ESSO-India Meteorological Department (IMD), the Southwest monsoon seasonal rainfall for the country as a whole is most likely to be Normal (96-104% of Long Period Average (LPA)) with the highest probability of 46%. However, the probability for the seasonal rainfall to be deficient (below 90% of LPA) or excess (above 110% of LPA) is relatively low (10% and 3% respectively). Based on studies, a negative phase of IOD predicted in the later part of monsoon, predicted by JAMSTEC, Japan. Majority of the models indicate that El Nino 3.4 SSTs will remain near neutral ENSO condition. Operational/experimental forecasts prepared by international institutes like the ECMWF (Europe), NCEP (USA) ECMWF, APCC (Korea), Sintex /Jamstec (Japan), CDAC (Centre for development of Advanced Computing), IRI Columbia University (USA), ITEC(Japan, MRI (JAPAN) and EUROSIP (Europe) have all predicted the monsoon to be 103% OF LPA  for the period between June and September 2013.

Amidst expectation of normal monsoon, the Indian kharif crop scenario is likely to improve significantly. The total kharif foodgrain production is likely to improve by 8.09 per cent over last year to 135.00 million tonnes. Rice is expected to show an increase in area by 3.99 per cent and an increase of 5.13 per cent in production over last year. Among the oilseed crops, the overall production is expected to increase by 20.63 per cent over last year, in which the groundnut production to expected to increase significantly by 86.71 per cent over last year. In this current monsoon season the only crop with negative acreage and production over last year is likely to be sugarcane whose area is expected to decline by 6.27 per cent and its production is likely to decline by 0.42 per cent.

Development after Monsoon: Focus on Castor Seed

Indian economy is vitally linked with the monsoon because of its water resources. A large part of the country gets more than 75 per cent of the annual rainfall during the four months, June to September. Indian agriculture has been consistently facing increased pressure on account of population growth (Annual 1.53 per cent) and its extensive reliability on monsoon rains. Lack of improved irrigation facilities (only 45.2 per cent of the total cultivated area) has resulted in excessive dependence on monsoon and slight variation in the amount and timing of monsoon has serious impact on the overall food grain production of the country.
Why castor seeds prices jumped around 6% in spot market during May 31 and June 25 2013.
The major reason behind the rise in the prices is the expected export demand from China and European nations. India is the largest exporter of castor seed oil and exports 80% of its total castor oil to China, which is the world’s largest importer of Castor oil followed by US, Japan, Thailand and other European countries. Exports from India have been increasing at the rate of 7% year on year in the last 3 years. In 2011-12, India’s exported 404,489 MT of Castor Oil compare to previous year 343254: 40% of it to China, 35% to Europe and 11% to USA. As per Recent Data, Export of Castor Oil reached 67,000 MT for the month of June 2012, against the export of 59,000 MT for the month of May 2012.
What is the present production and consumption situation of castor seeds in India?
Castor is cultivated in 30 different countries on commercial scale, of which India, China and Brazil is the major castor growing countries accounting for 90 per cent of the world’s production. Historically, Brazil, China and India have been the key producing countries meeting global requirement. India is the leader in global castor production and dominates in international castor oil trade. Gujarat is the chief producing state, having a share of 77-80% of domestic production, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. As per our estimates, the total production of castor seed is expected to reach 12.70 lakh tonnes, an increase of 10.47 per cent over last year.
How monsoon can impact investment in castor seeds? Where do you see castor seeds prices by the end of the year 2014?
A normal monsoon is likely to support the castor seed crop and the production is likely to be on the higher side. As per the SEA estimates on 20.06.2013 the total area under castor seed was 0.19 lakh hectares against 0.04 lakh hectares. This figure itself shows that this year’s crop is going to be on the record high.
Investment decision in castor is considered to e a judicious one if you stay invested for whole the cropping season. Currently the prices are hovering in the range of 3200 to 3500. For the short term, no major upsurge is expected from the current levels, though the downside movement is very limited. If one is willing to stay invested for next 6 to 9 months, a price range of 4500 to 5000 can be expected.
Technical Analysis & Recommendation
 The trend in castor Seed is bullish. As per the chart February month is expected to test the levels of 4779 & 5080 on the higher side. It is advisable to enter fresh buy could be initiated at Levels between 3900 - 4000 (CMP 4386) with major stop loss @ 3480 levels.

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