L&T wins Rs700 crore orders from water and material handling sectors

Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) said its material handling arm received orders worth Rs700 crore from various customers for construction-related work.

The company has received Rs375 crore order from Jabalpur Municipal Corporation. The project is funded under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and has to be executed in 30 months, said the company in a press release.

Further, L&T has won Rs165 crore order, which is to be executed in 21 months, from Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation for developing infrastructure facilities in the industrial estates located in Panipat and Rai. Besides, Bhushan Steel has awarded Rs160 crore order to the company for the material handling works in their steel plant in Orissa, the company said in a release.

On Thursday, L&T shares gained 0.5% to Rs2,044 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex closed 0.6% up at 20,069 points.


FMC lifts ban on futures trading in sugar

New Delhi: Commodity market regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC) today lifted the ban on trading in sugar futures, as retail prices of the sweetener have dropped by 40% since January and also buoyed by expectations of a bumper output in 2010-11, reports PTI.

"We have allowed to lapse the ban on sugar futures trading today," FMC chairman B C Khatua told PTI.

He said FMC would take a decision on launch of new contracts in 2-3 days after consultation with sugar industry and commodity exchanges.

The government had banned futures trading in sugar in May last year to control prices in the domestic market. India, the world's second largest producer and biggest consumer, has been importing sugar from February 2009 to meet domestic demand.

However, the output in 2010-11 (October-September) is expected to rise to 25 million tonnes from 19 million tonnes in the current sugar year, which runs from October to September. Annual demand is 23 million tonnes.

The prices have crashed to Rs30-Rs32 per kg in the retail market of Delhi from a record Rs48 a kg in the mid-January.


Govt raises onion minimum export price by $75

New Delhi: The government has raised the minimum export price (MEP) for onions by $75 to $425 a tonne for October, the third straight month in a row, to discourage overseas shipments and tame domestic prices, reports PTI.

"The minimum export price of onion has been increased by $75 to $425 a tonne for October to contain rising domestic prices," said a senior official with agri-cooperative Nafed, which is the government's nodal agency for regulating onion exports.

Last month, the onion MEP stood at $350 a tonne, while in October, 2009, it was $300 a tonne.

Depleting stocks of onion in cold storage chains is driving up prices, as fresh crops are only expected to arrive after November, the official said.

The wholesale prices at Lasalgaon, in Maharashtra, which is Asia's biggest onion market, have risen sharply by 60% to Rs1,600 per quintal today from Rs1,000 per quintal in the same period last month, according to official data.

A similar increase was seen in retail prices across the country. For instance, in metros, onion prices have increased to Rs19-Rs24 a kg today from Rs10-Rs16 a kg a year ago.

"Higher export prices would help discourage overseas sales and increase domestic availability," the official said, adding that presently, demand for Indian onions is low as prices are higher by $50 a tonne in the global market as compared to Pakistan and China.

A higher MEP has slowed down the country's onion exports, which declined for the sixth consecutive month in September, according to Nafed.

Overall onion exports from India declined by 59% to 57,855 tonnes in September from 1,41,299 tonnes in the same period last year, it said.

Agri-cooperative major Nafed, along with 13 other agencies involved in onion exports, regulates exports by fixing the MEP every month. No export can take place below the MEP and all contracts are registered with Nafed.

India's onion output was estimated at around 130 lakh tonnes in 2009-10.


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