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Basmati rice, soya decline by up to 10%

Date: 02-03-2020
Subject: Basmati rice, soya decline by up to 10%
New Delhi: Prices of basmati rice, cotton and soyabean have dropped by up to 10 per cent in the last one month as the coronavirus outbreak curtailed overseas shipments leading to a build-up of stock. Since early February, cotton and yarn prices in the wholesale market have fallen by 7 per cent, while basmati is cheaper by 10 per cent and soybean by 5 per cent, according to traders.

Basmati rice and soyabean meal exporters said sales were down at a time when shipments were ex- pected to rise ahead of the Nowruz celebration, which marks the beginning of the New Year in Iran, from March 20.

India’s basmati rice exports to Iran have almost stopped as cargo handling at the ports was restricted because of concerns regarding virus spread, said Satish Goel of Shree Jagdamba Agrico Exports.

Iran has been the largest importer of basmati rice from India in recent years, accounting for more than 30 per cent of the total basmati rice shipped abroad.

“It was the peak time for exports which has come to a standstill now. More than 60,000 tonnes of rice slated for export is lying in the ports,” said Goel. Similarly, soyabean meal exporters said the development has come at a time when they were expecting a pickup in demand from Iran. “With the fall in soyabean prices by 15 per cent in past two month we hoped to be competitive in the export market and were expecting demand from Iran’s poultry and fish industry,” said Davish Jain, chairman of the Soyabean Processors Association. Iran accounted for over 25 per cent of the 1.5 to 2 million tonne of soyabean meal exported from India.

Jain said that Iranian buyers were not negotiating for further deal and orders were expected to be slow. “If situation doesn’t improve and there is no posi- tive signal, we can expect another 5 per cent drop in soyabean prices from the current Rs 3,900 per 100 kg,” said Jain.

Cotton prices have fallen 7 per cent to Rs 38,000 per candy of 356 kg in the past one month, said Mahesh Sharda, president at Indian Cotton Association. “There is no new buying by China or any other country. We will be meeting the textile secretary to understand the government’s view on effect of coronavirus on industry,” he said.

Yarn prices, too, traded 5 per cent to 7 per cent lower than a month ago due to a drop in demand and fall in international cotton prices, said Rakesh Rathi, director at New Delhi-based Kamal Cotton Traders. He said cotton yarn prices were at Rs 180-190 per kg for export quality 30s carded yarn.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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