Commodity Analysis

World’s first brass futures contract on MCX

| Updated on March 18, 2018 Published on March 18, 2018

The Multi Commodity Exchange, one of the largest commodity exchanges in the country, will launch brass trading futures for the first time in the world at an event on March 21. The trading will go live on March 26 this year.

Brass (IS-319 grade, brass ingots and billets) will be the first non-ferrous contract with compulsory delivery options, to be delivered at Jamnagar, Gujarat. Initially, three contracts ending in April, May and June will be available for trading, and the lot size will be 1 tonne, valued at ₹3.55 lakh.

Out of the 5,000 small and medium units producing brass, about 3,000 are located at Jamnagar, and they account for 80 per cent of the brass sold in India. The rest are spread across Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh and Jagadhari in Haryana. Introduction of brass futures will bring transparency in a market that lacks domestic benchmark price.

Rising bivoltine silk output may cut imports

India’s dependence on China for the import of high-quality silk is likely to come down in the next 3-4 years, with the country striving to become self-sufficient in silk production by 2022. In 2016-17, India imported close to 3,700 tonnes of high-quality silk from China, compared to close to 7,000 tonnes in 2013-14. According to Central Silk Board Joint Secretary KK Shetty, the decrease in import volumes has been primarily on the back of increase in production of better bivoltine silk.

The production of bivoltine, which is also an import-substitute-quality silk, increased from 2,559 tonnes in 2013-14 to 5,266 tonnes in 2016-17. Bivoltine production is likely to touch 6,200 tonnes in 2017-18. Once the production touches the targeted 12,000 tonnes by 2022, the country would no longer need to import Chinese silk, according to the Joint Secretary. The country’s total raw silk production increased to 30,348 tonnes in 2016-17 (around 26,480 tonnes in 2013-14), and is expected to touch close to 33,000 tonnes in 2017-18. The Central Silk Board estimates total production of raw silk to touch 45,000 tonnes in 2022.

Despite a rise in production, the country’s exports declined in value terms — from approximately ₹2,500 crore in 2015-16 to close to ₹2,093 crore in FY’17. Silk exports include natural silk yarn, fabrics and made-ups, ready-made garments, silk carpets and silk waste.

Uncertain kharif awaits cotton farmers

Even though the Centre has reduced the price of Bollgard-II cottonseed by ₹60 (for a packet of 450 gm), an uncertain kharif awaits cotton farmers in the country. The reduction would mean a saving of ₹300 crore for farmers who use about 5 crore packets of seeds in a season.

The farmers, however, are not much elated as there are reports of virulent attacks of bollworm coming in from all over the country.

Non-governmental organisations have said it is time non-GM cotton varieties are back on the agenda, with the GM varieties leaving farmers in distress.

Both the National Seed Association of India, which represents the bulk of the cottonseed industry, and Mahyco Monsanto Biotech Limited, which supplies the Bollgard technology to the seed companies, are upset with the downward revision of the price.

Air cargo support to boost farm exports

Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said that he has directed civil aviation ministry officials to prepare a plan for providing air cargo support to agricultural hubs to promote farm exports.

The Commerce and Industry Minister, who also holds additional charge of the Civil Aviation Ministry, said that a draft policy to increase agricultural exports is ready and is being circulated for inter-ministerial views.

Efforts would be made to provide air cargo support to the sector to promote exports of agri commodities with a view to fast-track the movement of farm commodities.


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