Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Aug 11, 2006
Agri-Biz & Commodities
Industry & Economy - Exports & Imports
MMTC, PEC pass over urad, moong import tenders
`Passing over' reasons
Sellers from Myanmar quoted very high price, when futures here showed a different price.
Also, Centre wants pulses brought only during August but no one is ready to deliver it in August.
Chennai , Aug. 10
Even as prices of pulses, particularly urad and moong are rising on fears over the kharif crop prospects, the agencies nominated by the Centre for import of pulses have been able to contract only a meagre quantity, according to official sources.
When the prices of pulses soared on shortage during June, the Union Government banned export of pulses and then, permitted three agencies - the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation, MMTC and PEC - to import tur, moong and urad.
MMTC and PEC are the arms of the Union Commerce Ministry and are engaged in trading of various commodities.
Tender put off
MMTC and PEC, in particular, have passed over the tender they floated to buy urad and moong.
"Maybe, it was a mistake for both MMTC and PEC to float tenders at the same time. Sellers, mainly from Myanmar, quoted a very high price at a time when futures here showed a different price. So, we passed over the tender," official sources said.
Also, the Centre wanted the pulses to be brought into the country during August but no one was ready to deliver in August. "It was another reason for us to put off the tender," they said.
The Centre had stipulated the condition since kharif pulses will start arriving in the market from middle of September.
"Sellers from Myanmar quoted above $660 (Rs 30,750) a tonne," the sources said.
Nafed, on the other hand, has been able to contract 15,000 tonnes each of urad and moong for imports from Myanmar. "The first two vessels carrying the consignments will reach Chennai in 2-3 weeks time," a Nafed official said.
He, however, did not provide the prices at which the imports are being made.
According tothe Pulses Importers' Association President, Mr K.C. Bhartiya, small parcels are coming into the country.
Private trade sources said fair average quality urad was being quoted at $625 c&f (Rs 29,250) Chennai currently. "But the current rains in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh could force them to raise price," trade sources said.
On Thursday, urad for August delivery was quoted at Rs 3,073 a quintal against Rs 2,823 during the weekend. September contract was up at Rs 2,808 (Rs 2,530); October at Rs 2,546 (Rs 2,320) and December at Rs 2,494 (Rs 2,317).
Prices have gained mainly on fears that rains in growing areas of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh could have damaged the kharif crop and production could be lower by as much as 1.75 lakh hectares.
Meanwhile, pulses traders have denied the charges of hoarding, expressing concern over demand by various political parties to crackdown on traders.
"It is impossible to keep stocks in today's situation. No trader will dare to hold stocks as a fall of Rs 600-700 a tonne will mean a loss of Rs 70,000 for a lorryload," the trade sources said.
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