World’s biggest cargo airport constructed in Dubai

The new airport is planned to cover 140 square kilometres, part of the $33-billion Dubai World Central development in the Jebel Ali area, home also to the region's largest port and its busiest free zone

Dubai’s second airport which is designed to be the world’s largest, is set to start operations from 27th June for cargo only, reports PTI.

According to Dubai Airports chief executive officer Paul Griffiths, the Al-Maktoum International Airport, which is designed to be the world’s largest when completed, plans to receive passengers next year.

He said that the passenger terminal is scheduled to be ready by the end of this year and that it will enter service at the beginning of the summer season in 2011, towards the end of March.

The airport, which is designed to have six runways and handle 120 million passengers when fully completed, was supposed to be operational by the end of 2008. Its runway has been ready since 2007.

Mr Griffiths was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the annual Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. “We are not just creating the largest airport in the world, it is also the best,” he said, adding that Dubai expects to receive 150 million passengers by 2030 at its two airports.

The new airport is planned to cover 140 square kilometres, part of the $33-billion Dubai World Central development in the Jebel Ali area, home also to the region's largest port and its busiest free zone.

Dubai is also continuing to expand its existing airport, building a third concourse while it plans to expand Terminal Two, which is the hub for its young low-cost carrier, Flydubai.

Dubai airport handled 11.47 million passengers in the first quarter of this year, up 20.4% from the corresponding period last year, he said.
Meanwhile, back home, the government today said the recent Dubai World debt crisis had no significant impact on the Indian economy including exports.

Dubai World is an investment company that manages and supervises a portfolio of businesses and projects for the Dubai Government. The UAE was India’s largest trading partner in 2008-09 with the two-way commerce estimated at $48.26 billion.

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Textiles exports likely to grow by 10%

The government has said that the textiles and clothing industry was adversely affected by the global economic slowdown and recession, but is on the path of recovery

The government today said that India’s textiles sector, which was impacted by the global downturn, is on the path of recovery and exports are likely to increase by 10% in the current financial year, reports PTI.

Impacted by demand slowdown, exports of textiles, including garment and silk, contracted by 4.34% to $14.07 billion in the first nine months of 2008-09, over the corresponding period.

"In FY’11, textile industry exports are projected to grow by 10%," minister of state in the textiles ministry Panabaaka Lakshmi informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

She said that the textiles and clothing industry was adversely affected by the global economic slowdown and recession, “but is on the path of recovery.”

Replying to another question, the minister said that all possible efforts were being made to put the National Textiles Corporation (NTC) on a strong footing.

The Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction envisages modernisation of 24 mills by NTC.

“Out of these 24 mills, 18 mills have already been modernised,” she said, adding that depending upon availability of funds, all the 24 mills can start functioning by March 2011.
 

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USDA lowers India’s wheat output forecast to 79 million tonnes

India, the world's second largest grower, produced a record 80.68MT of wheat in 2009

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has lowered India's wheat output estimate by 3.65% to 79 million tonnes (MT) for the current crop year from 82MT on crop damage due to extreme heat, reports PTI.

India, the world's second largest grower, produced a record 80.68MT of wheat in 2009.

Wheat harvesting for the 2010-11 marketing year began on 1st April and will continue till June.

"The initial optimism regarding the 2010 wheat crop following favourable growing conditions through mid-March was tempered by a sudden significant rise in temperature, which affected proper grain development, lowering yield prospects," the USDA said in its latest report.

The extreme hot weather at harvest time resulted in lower-than-normal grain moisture levels, further contributing to a potential yield reduction, it said.

The fall in production is despite an increase in wheat acreage to 28.7 million hectares, it added.

The report, however, warned that the impact of high temperature is likely to be more pronounced in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana where the crop was planted late.

Wheat production in Madhya Pradesh, however, is expected to touch record levels as the crop was unaffected by the rise in temperature.

However, the production gain in Madhya Pradesh is unlikely to offset the likely combined decline in wheat production in Punjab and Haryana, it observed.

Due to lower output, wheat procurement is also expected to fall by 2MT to 3MT from the record 25.4MT procured in 2009-10, the USDA said, adding that the government's wheat stock on 1st June could peak to near record level of around 40MT.

Despite the huge stock lying in granaries, the USDA said India may not lift the ban on wheat exports due to concerns of food inflation.

Even if exports were allowed, Indian wheat would remain uncompetitive in the global market without an export subsidy from the government, the report said.

Also, the recent appreciation of the Indian rupee against the US dollar would make exports more costlier, the report added.

"At the current exchange rate of around Rs44.5 for one US dollar, the Free on board (FOB) cost of Indian wheat would be around $310 per tonne against the US price of less than $200 per tonne and even lower for Baltic Sea origin wheat," it said.

In early 2007, the government banned exports of wheat to increase the availability of the commodity in the domestic market.
 

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