At the height of onion crisis around 20th and 21st December when the price of the bulb had peaked to Rs70-Rs85 a kg in the national capital, the government had ordered for import of the veggie to boost domestic availability
New Delhi: Though the government stopped subsidised sale of onions in the national capital from today with the softening of the kitchen staple prices, it said it is not in a hurry to lift ban on export of the veggie, reports PTI.
"Though the price of the onion has eased...but we have not reached the stage to restart export of the vegetable... we are not in any hurry," food minister KV Thomas told PTI.
With soaring of rates of onions that created a hue and cry across the country, the government had first decided to suspend export of the vegetable till mid-January, but later clamped an indefinite ban.
The minister of state with independent charge for food and consumer affairs said there was no need now for further contracting onion from other countries.
"Only previous contracted onions are imported now...there is no need for further shipment of the vegetable as the domestic supply of the crop has increased now," the minister said.
At the height of onion crisis around 20th and 21st December when the price of the bulb had peaked to Rs70-Rs85 a kg in the national capital, the government as a crisis-management step had ordered for import of the veggie to boost domestic availability.
Accordingly, state-run agencies PEC and STC had contracted 1,000 tonnes of onions from Pakistan in the first week of January.
The onions from the neighbouring country landed at Mundra port in Gujarat in phases from where it was ferried to Delhi by roads.
With softening of prices of onions to Rs 25-Rs30 a kg, the government yesterday decided to discontinue subsidised sale of the essential commodity through cooperatives like Mother Dairy, Nafed, NCCF and Kendriya Bhandar.
The government was giving 30% subsidy to cooperatives for vending onions at lower rates.
Will it be the sixth down day in a row tomorrow?
The market opened trade this morning with decent gains, tracking the global markets. However, the market soon lost steam on offloading by institutional investors and slid deep into the red. Despite upbeat economic data, the indices witnessed a free-fall in the morning session.
There was no let up in the post-noon session as all the sectoral gauges were in negative territory. The decline resulted in the key benchmarks closing at the day's lows.
The short term bounce we were expecting today eluded us. The Sensex opened with a gap-up of 97 points at 18,425. The Nifty opened higher at 5,537. We expected the market to end positive in case it crossed yesterday's high. But the Sensex and Nifty both traded above yesterday's high only briefly and slipped into the negative within minutes.
Continuous selling in the first hour brought the market to yesterday's low. At the end of the day, the Sensex and Nifty hit the day's lows at 17,982 and 5,402 respectively, falling below yesterday's lows. The Sensex was down 306 points at 18,022 and Nifty 89 points down at 5,417.
Today was the fifth consecutive day of the fall that started on 25 January 2011. Since 1991, there have been 141 occasions when the Sensex ended in the negative for five consecutive trading sessions. Out of this, the market has ended positive 76 times on the sixth trading day. That's not much of a solace for the bulls. The advance-decline on the National Stock Exchange was a poor 347:1,044. The market will trade weak unless it is able to consistently trade above the previous day's high, which looks like a far cry now.
In line with the market performance, the breadth on the key benchmarks was heavily in favour of the declining stocks. The Sensex closed with 27 losers and three gainers while the Nifty had 45 declining stocks, four advancing stocks and one remained unchanged. The broader indices were also bashed in the market mayhem today. The BSE Mid-cap index tanked 1.63% and the BSE Small-cap index declined 1.44%.
In the sectoral space, BSE Realty (down 4.04%), BSE Auto (down 2.83%), BSE Capital Goods (down 2.49%), BSE Oil & Gas (down 2.10%) and BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (down 2.02%) were the top losers. There no sectoral gainers.
Sterlite Industries (up 0.64%), HDFC (up 0.36%) and Hindalco (up 0.20%) were the only gainers on the Sensex. The top losers were Tata Motors (down 6.92%), Jindal Steel (down 4.34%), Jaiprakash Associated (down 4.32%), Larsen & Toubro (down 3.66%) and Reliance Communications (down 3.47%).
The HSBC Markit PMI increased to 56.8 in January from 56.7 in December 2010. The PMI, a survey of executives in over 500 manufacturing companies, portrays the true growth of the manufacturing sector, unlike government-oriented indicators that are often revised-confusing readers and analysts.
Besides, the latest rise in new orders was faster than in the previous survey period and in line with the historical average for the series. While growth of new export business slowed to the weakest in three months, it has now been maintained for 20 successive months and remained above the long-run trend.
Markets in Asia closed with modest gains on earnings optimism and positive economic indicators that sidelined concerns about the political crisis in Egypt. Japanese automaker Honda, which forecast higher earnings for the year ending 31st March, closed 2% higher. Electronics major Hitachi reported decent third quarter earnings.
In economic news, Chinese showed mixed manufacturing data. China's official Purchase Managers' Index (PMI) published by the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and purchasing, fell to 52.9 in January from 53.9 in December. On the other hand, a competing PMI put out by HSBC Holdings PLC showed a modest rise to 54.5 from 54.4 in December. The nation's stock markets will be closed for the Lunar New Year holidays from Wednesday and reopen on 9th February.
The Shanghai Composite gained 0.31%, the Hang Seng rose 0.15%, the Jakarta Composite surged 0.98%, the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.36%, the Straits Times advanced, the Seoul Composite added 0.11% and the Taiwan Weighted ended 0.47% higher.
Back home, India's exports in December 2010 rose by 36.4% to $22.5 billion, up from $16.4 billion in the corresponding month of the previous month. The December export figure is the highest in the last 33 months.
However, imports contracted by 11.1% to $25.13 billion over the same period last year, resulting in a narrow trade deficit of $2.6 billion, according to commerce ministry data released today.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers on Monday, offloading stocks worth Rs920.38 crore. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net buyers of equities worth Rs1,008.14 crore.
Pharma major Glenmark (down 1.91%) on Tuesday said its consolidated net profit for the quarter ended 31 December 2010, rose by 16.45% to Rs 109.55 crore, up from Rs94.07 crore in the corresponding three-month period of the previous fiscal. Consolidated net sales of the company for the quarter ending 31 December 2010, rose to Rs750.81 crore from Rs641.68 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.
SUV major Mahindra & Mahindra (down 0.98%) today said it expects to gain full management control of SsangYong Motor Company (SMC) by March and will launch two sports utility vehicles from the stable of the South Korean firm in India by the end of this year.
The company is expected to complete payment of the balance 90% for the acquisition, after which fresh shares will be issued to the Indian auto major, thus holding a 70% stake in SMC.
Godrej Properties (down 2.07%) has commenced development of 35 acres of land at Vikhroli in the eastern suburbs of Mumbai. The company is likely to spend up to Rs1,500 crore for this. The development will be undertaken in three phases over 5-6 years and is expected to provide 2.8 million square feet of saleable area.
The real estate developer currently has around 83 million sq ft area under development across 11 cities. Of this, around 20 million sq ft is in various stages of construction.
Escorts reported net profit for the December 2010 quarter stood at Rs25.4 crore on account of robust demand
Tractor maker Escorts Ltd reported 8.55% increase in its net profit for the quarter ended 31 December 2010, at Rs25.4 crore on account of robust demand.
The company had posted a net profit of Rs23.4 crore in the corresponding period previous fiscal, Escorts said in a statement.
The net sales during the quarter grew by 37.90% to Rs827.7 crore from Rs600.2 crore in the year-ago period, it added.
During the three-month period, Escorts sold 16,333 tractors as against 13,561 units in the same period last fiscal, an increase of 20.44%.
"Escorts' first quarter results of fiscal 2010-11 reflect a profitable quarter, with increase in sales performance in the tractor segment. The industry is faced with rising inflation, which will be a test of our managerial initiatives to neutralise increasing costs," Escorts chairman and managing director Rajan Nanda said.
Escorts joint managing director Nikhil Nanda said the company's construction and the railways businesses are expecting growth in this year and several product initiatives are in the pipeline.
"We look at 2011 as a year of new business opportunities, where new initiatives will strengthen our profitability and growth in all segments," he added.
On Tuesday, Escorts ended 9.39% down at Rs119.20 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 1.67% down at 18,022.22 points.