May 14, 2015 11:06 am Published by

Fertiliser stocks surge on Cabinet nod for new urea policy

Stocks of fertiliser companies surged over 10 per cent today after the Union Cabinet approved a new urea policy that aims to make the country self-sufficient in production in the next four years and ensure timely supply of the soil nutrient to farmers.
Shares of Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers surged 10.26 per cent, National Fertilizers (9.26 per cent), Chambal Fertilisers & Chemicals (5.57 per cent) and Gujarat State Fertilizers & Chemicals (4.63 per cent) on the BSE.
Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals rose 3.89 per cent and Zuari Agro Chemicals was up 1.85 per cent.
India produces about 22 million tonnes of urea annually. At present, it imports about 8 mt of the fertiliser to meet the annual domestic demand.
“The Cabinet has approved a comprehensive new urea policy for the next four years aimed at timely supply of urea to farmers and rationalise subsidy burden,” Press Information Bureau (PIB) Director General Frank Noronha said in a tweet after the Cabinet meeting held here.
The New Urea Policy 2015 has twin objectives: maximising urea production and promoting energy efficiency in urea units, he said.
The policy outlines measures for boosting urea production by making the plants more energy efficient and pooling of gas supplied to urea facilities, among others, sources said.

Fresh buying lifts castorseed

Castorseed prices moved up on the back of fresh export demand for castor oil. Crusher and shippers increased buying. Futures contract also gained on speculative buying. Traders said that there was demand at the lower level. The price had declined in the past few days on higher arrival which attracted fresh demand on the spot market.
Traders said that besides covering-up of short positions by speculators, pick up in demand in the spot market, resulted in castorseed prices trading higher in the futures market.
About 1.05 lakh bags of castorseed arrived in Gujarat and prices increased by ₹5 to ₹715-725 for a maund of 20 kg. In Saurashtra 3,900-4,000 bags arrived and prices moved up by ₹5 to ₹ 705-715 per 20 kg. Castor oil increased ₹5 to ₹740 per 10 kg.
On National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, castorseed May futures increased ₹18 to ₹3,699 a quintal, with an open interest of 12,560 lots. NCDEX June futures moved up by ₹4 to ₹3,817 a quintal, with an open interest of 183,790 lots.
On the Rajkot Commodity Exchange, June futures gained ₹99 at ₹3,810 a quintal. RCX spot castorseed increased ₹25 to ₹3,625 per 100 kg.
Foodgrain output may fall by 5% to 251 MT in 2014-15
India’s foodgrain production is estimated to have declined by 5.25 per cent to 251.12 million tonnes in 2014—15 crop year due to poor monsoon and unseasonal rain in past two months.
The country had registered a record foodgrain production of 265.04 million tonnes in 2013—14 crop year (July—June).
Wheat, rice, coarse cereals and pulses are part of foodgrain basket.
While releasing the third advance estimates for 2014—15, the Agriculture Ministry today said the production of most of the crops fell because of bad monsoon in 2014 and unseasonal rains/hailstorms during March—April 2015 that affected kharif (summer—sown) and rabi (winter—sown) crops.
Rice production is estimated to have fallen to 102.54 million tonnes in 2014—15 against the record output of 106.65 million tonnes in the previous year.
Wheat output is estimated to have declined to 90.78 million tonnes in 2014—15 as against a record 95.85 million tonnes achieved in the previous year.
It may, however, be noted that wheat and rice stocks with government are 51.17 million tonnes as of May this year, as against buffer norm of 21 million tonnes as of April 2015.
The Ministry has revised downwards the production of foodgrains as well as that of rice and wheat from its earlier estimates released on February 18 this year. Foodgrains output was then pegged at 257.07 million tonnes; rice at 103.04 million tonnes and wheat at 95.76 million tonnes.
“It may be noted that production of kharif crops during 2014—15 suffered due to bad monsoon. Unseasonal rains/ hailstorm during Feb—March 2015 had significant impact on production of rabi crops.
India had received 12 per cent deficient rains in south west monsoon in 2014.
“Total foodgrains production in the country is estimated at 251.12 million tonnes (MT) which is lower by 13.92 MT than the last year’s record foodgrains production of 265.04 MT.”

Tata Steel to set up new R&D hub in UK

Tata Steel will create a new research and development hub in the UK focused on low-carbon technology, after signing an agreement with the University of Warwick in the UK, with which it has long had links.
40 scientists
A research facility at the university’s Warwick Manufacturing Group will open at the university later this year, with 40 Tata Steel scientists based there. Tata Steel will gradually shift its research and development activities to this site.
Research will focus on developing new materials for Tata Steel’s customer base, including those used in renewable energy generation and more fuel-efficient cars and planes. Other areas of research include programmes to improve steel production, and research into emerging and breakthrough technologies.
“Our new UK research and development facilities will enable us to speed up the development of new products that help our customers become more competitive,” said Karl Koehler, Chief Executive Officer of Tata Steel’s European operations in a statement on Wednesday.
Kumar Bhattacharyya, chair of the Warwick Manufacturing Group, said the collaboration would create a national focus to ensure that “the UK steel industry has the knowledge technology and skills to be able to compete in the huge international steel market.”

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