While the agriculture ministry is in favour of allowing more exports, the food ministry wants to defer the decision till September by when it would know the actual closing stock of sugar in this season and will get a clear picture of likely production in the next season
New Delhi: An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on food, headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, is scheduled to meet on Friday to decide on allowing more sugar exports and lifting ban on wheat exports, reports PTI.
The government has so far this year allowed exports of one million tonnes of sugar in two equal tranches under Open General Licence (OGL).
"The EGoM meeting is scheduled for 12th August. Sugar and wheat exports are on the agenda," a highly placed source said.
Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), the apex industry body for sugar sector, has been demanding that the government should allow another one million tonnes of sugar exports considering the huge surplus stock and higher global prices.
Not only industry, almost all political parties from Maharashtra are demanding more exports so that mills could make payments to sugarcane farmers.
On Tuesday, food minister KV Thomas had said in the Lok Sabha that mills owe Rs2,591 crore to sugarcane farmers till 15th May of the current 2010-11 season (October-September). Another Rs211 crore sugarcane arrear is pending from previous seasons.
Mills have not been able to make timely payment to cane farmers this season due to liquidity crunch following a decline in ex-mill prices.
While the agriculture ministry is in favour of allowing more exports, the food ministry wants to defer the decision till September by when it would come to know the actual closing stock of sugar in this season and will get a clear picture of likely production in the next season.
Sugar production of India, the world's second largest producer and biggest consumer, is estimated at 24.2 million tonnes in the 2010-11 season as compared to around 19 million tonnes last year. The annual demand is pegged at 21-21.5 million tonnes.
On wheat export, which has been banned since early 2007, sources said the issue may be discussed again but export is unlikely to take place given low global prices.
In its last meeting, which was held early July, the EGoM had deferred the decision to allow wheat exports.
Nifty may see an upmove till 5,270
As we mentioned in our yesterday's closing report, the Nifty witnessed a bounce-back today. Apart from the indicators which pointed towards such gains, faith shown by the people in power helped the gains to continue. The loss of the past six days during which the Nifty broke the 14 months' low was 444 points. We expect the Nifty to continue the gains till the level of 5,270.
As expected, the market rebounded today-ending its six-day losing streak-on assertions from the US Federal Reserve overnight. The optimism boosted markets around the world. Back here, the Nifty opened 124 points higher at 5,197 and the Sensex resumed trade at 17,245, up 387 points and crossing its psychological level of 17,000. Buying in IT, realty, consumer durables and auto stocks also supported the upmove.
The Federal Reserve on Tuesday pledged to keep rates unchanged at near zero levels through mid-2013 and added that it would take appropriate steps to prop up the sagging economy.
Rising steadily in subsequent trade, the market touched the day's high in mid-morning trade where the Nifty rose to 5,197 and the Sensex to 17,256. However, profit booking at higher levels led to the indices paring some of the gains. The indices fell to the day's lows in the post-noon session with the Nifty falling to 5,123 and the Sensex going back to 17,022.
Buying activity resumed after the indices hit the lows, propping them higher and ensuring a positive close after six days of continuous losses. At the day's close, the Nifty gained 88 points to 5,161 and the Sensex finished the session at 17,131, higher by 273 points.
The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange was a positive 1388:398.
The broader indices outperformed the Sensex today with the BSE Mid-cap index climbing 2.31% and the BSE Small-cap index advancing 2.46%.
The top gainers in the sectoral space were BSE Auto (up 4.17%), BSE Realty (up 2.98%), BSE Consumer Durables (up 2.61%), BSE IT (up 2.41%) and BSE Bankex (up 2.39%). BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (down 0.47%) and BSE Oil & Gas (down 0.19%) were the only laggards.
Tata Motors (up 6.08%), Maruti Suzuki (up 5.95%), Hindalco Industries (up 5.24%), Mahindra & Mahindra (up 5.03%) and DLF (up 4.31%) were the major gainers on the Sensex. ONGC (down 2.22%), ITC (down 1.15%), Hindustan Unilever (down 0.95%), Sun Pharma (down 0.68%) and Tata Power (down 0.54%) ended as the top losers on the index.
The star performers on the Nifty were Tata Motors (up 6.04%), Maruti Suzuki (up 5.78%), DLF (up 5.54%), Hindalco (up 5.10%) and M&M (up 4.82%). The main losers were Grasim (down 2.53%), ONGC (down 2.14%), ITC (down 1.68%), Cairn India (down 1.46%) and Ranbaxy (down 1.30%).
Markets in Asia, with the exception of the Straits Times, closed higher following assurances from the US Fed last night. Regional indices bounced back from a two-week decline on speculations that the US central bank might implement some new measures to boost the economy.
In economic news, China's July exports rose 20.4% from a year ago, the biggest gain since April while imports rose 22.9% year-on-year. However, analysts cautioned debt issues and lower consumer spending in the US and Europe could pose a problem in the coming months.
The Shanghai Composite gained 0.91%, the Hang Seng climbed 2.34%, the Jakarta Composite jumped 3.44%, the KLSE Composite rose 0.57%, the Nikkei 225 surged 1.05%, the Seoul Composite advanced 0.27% and the Taiwan Weighted surged 3.25%. Bucking the trend, the Straits Times declined 2.18%.
Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of stocks worth Rs2,104.56 crore on Tuesday. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs1,412.96 crore.
Fortis Healthcare International today said it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 65% stake in Vietnam-based Hoan My Medical Corporation for $64 million (nearly Rs289 crore). This is the company's sixth investment in eight months and is seen as an important step in consolidating its presence in the growing healthcare delivery market in Asia. Fortis Healthcare gained 0.93% to close at Rs156.65 on the NSE.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals today said it has started Phase-IIb human trials of its 'Revamilast' molecule, which is being developed for treatment of inflammatory disorders like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. The molecule has successfully completed pre-clinical trials and Phase-I studies in the UK. The stock jumped settled 7.02% higher at Rs327.75 on the NSE.
GVK Power and Infrastructure is expected to commence work on its 690MW hydro-electric power project at Kishtwar in Jammu & Kashmir by December 2011. The power plant is likely to be commissioned in 2017. Situated on the river Chenab, it will provide 16% of its output to the state of Jammu & Kashmir free of charge. The stock rose 4.36% to Rs19.15 on the NSE today.
Posco-India is not ready to accept the state government's proposal to exclude the swapping of iron ore clause in the original MoU. The provision of swapping of iron ore in the lapsed MoU had been opposed by many, including Jairam Ramesh, when he was the environment minister
Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the renewal of its memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Orissa government for the 12 million tonne per annum (MTPA) greenfield steel plant in Orissa, Posco-India has sought certain modifications, reports PTI.
"Posco-India has accepted some of the suggestions made by the state government, but it wants certain modifications," state steel and mines minister Raghunath Mohanty told reporters here today.
Though the MoU with the South Korean steel major lapsed on 21 June 2010, it was yet to be renewed because of certain reasons including the iron ore swapping clause.
Sources in the know said that Posco-India was not ready to accept the state government's proposal to exclude the swapping of iron ore clause in the original MoU.
Under the lapsed MoU, iron ore high in alumina content not exceeding 30% of the total annual requirement for the Paradip plant could be swapped with an equal quantity of low alumina content iron ore or with better content imported for blending to produce better quality steel and conserve energy.
The provision of swapping of iron ore in the MoU had been opposed by many, including Jairam Ramesh, when he was the environment minister.
While according final forest clearance to the Posco project on 2nd May, Mr Ramesh as the minister for environment and forest had said: "The MoU had provision for export of iron ore which made me deeply uncomfortable with this project.
I would expect that the revised MoU between the state and Posco would be negotiated in such a manner that exports of raw material are completely avoided."
The government was examining Posco India's application for modification and certain in-principle decision would be taken, the minister said.
"We have almost finalised the draft of the MoU through consultation with Posco-India. Have patience, we will renew the MoU with Posco soon," chief secretary BK Patnaik said.