· Lack of selling and ample buying pushed ICE Futures US cotton to a nine-month high, amid rallying commodities and a falling US dollar. One of the key reasons is late monsoon rains, in the world’s second largest cotton producer, India.
· Scanty rainfalls were also responsible for a sharp rise in the Indian guar futures. Guar is mostly grown in north-western India, where the rainfall has been particularly poor. Guar acreage in Rajasthan, the country’s top producer, is down 74%. Rajasthan accounts for about 80% of India’s guar acreage.
· The silver lining is that the government has raised its 2008-09 food grain output estimates by four million tonnes to a high at 233.88 million tonnes, thanks to a record production of wheat, rice, maize and gram.
· India has recorded a 10% drop in tea production between January and May this year, according to Indian Tea Association. Production during the period stood at 215.8 million kg, compared with 240.2 million kg in the same period last year, a decrease of 24.4 million kg. The peak period between June and October would be crucial.