Lower sowing in Punjab, Haryana not to affect wheat production

The total area under wheat cultivation increased to 217.28 lakh hectares during 1st October to 10th December 2009, from 216 lakh hectares in the same period last year.

The Indian government on Wednesday said wheat sowing has fallen a bit in the key growing states of Punjab and Haryana but increased in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and hoped the overall crop output would not be affected, reports PTI.

"Wheat sowing is slightly bad in Punjab and Haryana but progressing well in other states like Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh," minister of state for agriculture KV Thomas said on the sidelines of a CII event on agri-marketing.

The total area under the crop, sown from October to December, is better now compared to last year, he said. "We assume the overall situation of winter-sown crops—wheat, rice, mustard seed—is good," Mr Thomas said.

Official data show the area under wheat cultivation increased to 217.28 lakh hectares during 1st October to 10th December, from 216 lakh hectares in the same period last year.

Food minister Sharad Pawar on Monday said the country\'s wheat production is expected to surpass last year\'s all-time-high production of 80.58 million tonnes. "Wheat sowing has been progressing well. The acreage and the crop condition indicate that production will be more than (that of) last year," Mr Pawar said.
 

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Godrej Consumer gets board's nod to raise Rs3,000 crore

The Godrej Consumer board has approved a proposal to raise Rs3,000 crore through issue of securities for various corporate purposes.

Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) on Wednesday said its board has approved a proposal to raise Rs3,000 crore through issue of securities.
The board of directors, at its meeting held on 15th December, approved raising of up to Rs3,000 crore to augment long-term financial resources of the company through suitable instruments including shares, bonds and debentures, Godrej Consumer Products said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

The proposal is subject to shareholders’ approval.

GCPL shares closed 1% or Rs2.70 down at Rs263.10 on the BSE while the 30-share Sensex closed 35 points higher at 16,912.
 

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Global tea prices to remain firm on lower production

The tea industry is expected to end year 2009 with a production shortfall of 5 million kg-10 million kg in the domestic market and about 75 million kg-80 million kg in international markets

Tea prices in the domestic and international markets are expected to remain firm in the coming months as there are no signs of easing of the deficit situation globally, say analysts.

The year 2009 is expected to end with a production shortfall of 5 million kg-10 million kg in the domestic market and about 75 million kg-80 million kg in international markets. With no signs of easing of production shortfall, tea prices are expected to remain firm in the domestic and international markets in the coming months, said Sharekhan Ltd in a note.

World tea production has been hit mainly due to lower output and exports from Kenya and Sri Lanka. According to the India Tea Association, from January to September 2009, global tea production fell by 6.5% or 88.6 million kg from the same period last year.

The Tea Board of India (TBI) said that during the first half of FY10, tea production and exports declined 0.32% and 7.4%, respectively. However, during the same period, domestic tea prices increased by 21.2% to an average of Rs104.40 per kg. Export tea prices declined by 0.9% to an average of $2.9 per kg, TBI added.

During 2008, the country's domestic consumption and per capita consumption were 802 million kg and 701 gm per head, respectively. For the next year (2010), the figures are likely to be 837 million kg and 711 gm per head, said a report by the standing committee of experts on population projection and IIM-Calcutta.

Since August, share prices of companies like McLeod Russel India Ltd and Jay Shree Tea & Industries Ltd have risen by 63.3% and 59.4%, respectively. However, due to overall moderation in the markets and correction in share prices, current prices of these companies offer an entry point to investors.

"On high domestic and export realisation, we expect tea plantation companies such as Mcleod Russel and Jay Shree Tea to continue to maintain higher profitability in the coming quarters. With stock prices of these two companies having corrected by about 10%-15% from their recent highs, the current weakness in tea stocks and overall sedate market environment offer an entry point to those investors who have completely missed the rally in tea stocks earlier," added Sharekhan.

On Wednesday, McLeod Russel closed 2.2% up at Rs256.40 on the Bombay Stock Exchange while Jay Shree Tea shares declined 0.20% to Rs326.80.
 

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