Manufacturing growth inches up in April: HSBC PMI

“Activity in the manufacturing sector expanded at a slightly faster pace in April. While output growth moderated, partly on the back of power outages, new orders continued to pour in, including for exports,” said Leif Eskesen, HSBC chief economist for India and ASEAN

New Delhi: After three months of decline, India’s manufacturing sector grew slightly in April as new orders poured in, but the rate of expansion was limited by power shortages and was weakest so far this year, an HSBC survey said.

The HSBC India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)—a measure of factory production—inched up to 54.9 in April, from 54.7 in March, report PTI.

A reading above 50 shows that the sector is growing, while a reading below 50 means the segment is contracting.

India’s manufacturing sector has witnessed an uptrend after falling for three months.

“Activity in the manufacturing sector expanded at a slightly faster pace in April. While output growth moderated, partly on the back of power outages, new orders continued to pour in, including for exports,” said Leif Eskesen, HSBC chief economist for India and ASEAN.

The report further noted that although manufacturing output increased, the rate of expansion slowed fractionally, and was the weakest in 2012 so far.

The survey respondents indicated that higher new orders had led to the rise in output, but power cuts had prevented firms from increasing production at a faster rate.

Capacity remained tight for the manufacturing sector in India during April as backlogs of work increased and inflationary pressures strengthened owing to rise in both output and input prices, HSBC said.

“This suggests that upside risks to inflation remain and that the RBI's rate cut could turn out to have been premature and too aggressive,” Mr Eskesen added.

In its annual monetary policy statement for 2012-13, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), after a gap of three years, had cut interest rate by 0.50% making credit cheaper.

RBI had hiked policy rates 13 times between March 2010 and October 2011 to control persistently high inflation.

Meanwhile, there was a modest increase in employment in the manufacturing sector in April.

“The latest increase in staffing levels was only modest.

Where job creation was recorded, this was mainly linked to higher workloads,” HSBC said.

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Economy & Nation Exclusive
Sugar output up by 2.5 million tonnes till April: ISMA

According to industry experts, despite additional export for the 2012-13 sugar season beginning October, the industry will start with a carry over stock of over 5 MT

India’s sugar production has reached 25.1 million tonne (MT) till April 2012, an increase of around 2.5 MT as compared to the previous year, according to the apex industry body Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA). The association is also hopeful that its estimate of total 26 MT output, projected in July 2011, will be achieved. Meanwhile, traders are awaiting notification to export additional 1 MT of sugar.
            
According to ISMA, Uttar Pradesh, largest producer in India, has recorded an output of 6.9 MT and Maharashtra has produced 8.8 MT. Among the southern states, Karnataka has so far produced 3.7 MT, Tamil Nadu has 1.5 MT and Andhra Pradesh has produced 1.1 MT. The domestic demand for sugar India is about 22 MT. The sugar marketing year starts from October-September.

Meanwhile the number of sugar mills engaged in crushing sugarcane has substantially gone down. As of 1st May 2012, the total number of mills functioning was 129 against 174 last year. However, Tamil Nadu noticed a reverse trend with an increase in the sugar mills to 42 from 33 in the previous year.

The union government had allowed 2 MT of sugar export in tranches for the current season. An additional 1 MT of sugar export was allowed on 26th March by the Empowered Group of Ministers led by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee. However, the notification for the same is awaited.

Today, replying to query in Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, commerce and industry minister, said that the decision to allow one million tonne sugar export will be soon implemented.

According to industry experts, despite additional export for the 2012-13 sugar season starting from October, the industry will start with a carry over stock of over 5 MT.

Due to piling inventory, arrears to cane growers are increasing. “The total cane arrears of the sugar mills across the country is about Rs10,000 crore (cumulative basis) as the crushing season is coming to an end. We are eagerly awaiting the notification to allow additional sugar export,” said an official at ISMA.

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Sensex, Nifty once again directionless: Wednesday Closing Report

If the Nifty closes below 5,220 we may see the index slipping to the level of 5,155

Better-than-expected domestic earnings kept the market firm in the first half trade. However, the market remained subdued in the latter half and closed marginally lower, snapping its four-day winning spree. In our previous closing report we had mentioned that a higher high may result in the Nifty hitting its first resistance at 5,400. Today the index managed to make higher high, and after a range-bound performance through the day, ended marginally in the negative. The quick small rally which we expected may be sustained if the index manages closing above 5,280 tomorrow. However, if it closes below 5,220 we may see the index slipping to the level of 5,155. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a volume of 56.83 crore shares.   

The market opened in the green on positive global cues and firm better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings reports by domestic majors. On the global front, US indices closed higher on higher manufacturing growth in April, according to data released by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The development also lifted the Asian pack in morning trade. Back home, the Nifty opened six points higher at 5,254 and the Sensex gained 52 points to resume trade at 17,371.The positivism saw all sectoral indices trading higher in early trade.

The Sensex hit its intraday high in the initial trade itself with the index rising to 17,432 while the Nifty achieved this feat at around 10.35am at 5,280. However, the market could not sustain the gains and pared all gains in the noon session as concerns about the government's proposed taxation rules, which were announced by the finance minister in the Budget, loomed large.

The benchmarks fell to their day's lows around 1.15pm with the Nifty going down to 5,241 and the Sensex 17,310. The indices were range-bound hovering near their previous close in subsequent trade.

Lacklustre trade continued in the late session with the market closing flat with a negative bias. The Nifty finished nine points lower at 5,239 and the Sensex settled 17 points down at 17,302.

The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was tilted in favour of the losers at 769:891.

The broader indices ended mixed with the BSE Mid-cap index slipping by 0.27% while the BSE Small-cap index adding 0.20%.

BSE Consumer Durables (up 2.41%); BSE TECk (up .97%); BSE IT (up 0.73%); BSE Bankex (up 0.27%) and BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 0.21%) were the key sectoral gainers. The main losers were BSE Auto (down 1.72%); BSE Power (down 1.25%); BSE Capital Goods (down 0.94%); BSE Oil & Gas (down 0.58%) and BSE PSU (down 0.56%).

The Sensex toppers were DLF (up 2.73%); Bharti Airtel (up 2.47%); Hindustan Unilever (up 2.08%); TCS (up 1.83%) and Cipla (up 1.80%). Tata Motors (down 3.82%); Maruti Suzuki (down 2.76%); Tata Power (down 2.27%); Coal India (down1.90%) and Bajaj Auto (down 1.85%) settled at the bottom of the index.

DLF (up 2.78%); Bharti Airtel (up 2.42%); SAIL, Punjab National Bank (up 1.95% each) and Cipla (up 1.92%) topped the Nifty list today. The key losers were Tata Motors (down 3.65%); Maruti Suzuki (down 3.20%); ACC (down 2.59%); Coal India (down 2.58%) and Tata Power (down 2.41%).

Markets in Asia closed higher on firm economic data from the US and China's official purchase managers' index touching a 13-month high in April. On the other hand, the HSBC Markit PMI, a private survey, showed that manufacturing activity contracted for the sixth month in a row.

The Shanghai Composite jumped 1.76%; the Hang Seng surged 1.02%; the Jakarta Composite gained 0.56%, the KLSE Composite climbed 0.75%; the Nikkei 225 0.31%; the Straits Times advanced 0.93%; the Kopsi Composite rose 0.86% and the Taiwan Weighted jumped 2.33%. At the time or writing, two of the three key European markets were in the green while the US stock futures were in the negative.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of shares totalling Rs479.53 crore on Monday while domestic institutional investors were net sellers of shares aggregating Rs246.81 crore.

IT major HCL Technologies today said it has signed an engineering and R&D services (ERS) deal with Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD). Under the engagement, BD will focus on creating solutions by leveraging HCL's capabilities and service expertise, including sustenance engineering and product-testing services delivered out of its newly set up Chennai facility. The stock climbed 1.15% to close at Rs517.95 on the NSE.

Mahindra Ugine Steel has earmarked capital expenditure of Rs47.49 crore to set up a press shop in its stamping division at Pantnagar in Uttarakhand. The unit will cater to automotive businesses in and around Pantnagar and Rudrapur such as Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and Mahindra & Mahindra. The press shop is expected to be commissioned in the next fiscal. The stock jumped 8.10% to Rs60.75 on the NSE.

Elecon Engineering Company has been awarded letter of intent of Rs19.45 crore from Cethar, (formerly Cethar Vessels) located at Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. The order envisages design, manufacturing, supply & transportation, erection & commissioning of two nos wagon tippler and its accessories. Elecon declined 0.80% to close at Rs55.85 on the NSE.

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