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Guar production to shrink in India owing to synthetic polymer use by US oil industry
Jul 17, 2017

Guar seed production in India, largest producer of legume, is likely to shrink by 10-12 per cent compared to the last year this kharif season due to rise in use of synthetic polymers by US oil and gas industry and lower remuneration of farmers. A 25-30 per cent decline in price of the legume in this quarter is expected to encourage farmers to grow cotton and chickpeas. 

Slump in crude oil prices is exhorting use of synthetic polymer by the US crude oil industry so demand for guar gum is likely to remain moderate, Rajesh Kedia, director Chimique India, based at Bhiwani in Haryana said. 
The area under Guar stood around 40 lakh hectares in 2016 against 55 lakh hectares in 2017. Sowing of guar that extends till first week of August in states like Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Farmers in irrigated area in the states are unlikely to grow guar this season but opt for alternate crops. Already in Haryana, the higher income in cotton and paddy in the last kharif has lured away farmers from guar. The area under cotton has witnessed an increase of one-lakh hectares and area under guar is like to fall, additional director agriculture, Haryana, Suresh Gahlawat said.
Already the US oil and gas industry has increased the use of synthetic polymer to almost 70 per cent, managing director PK Hissaria Sunita Hydrocolloids Pvt Ltd (SHPL) said. Speculative pricing has mellowed demand for gaurgum and also US based oil and gas industry is opting cheaper synthetic polymer, he said. 
But will guargum lose market to synthetic polymer? 
Kedia feels that guargaum being a agricultural commodity is better environmental option.  Stable prices and rise in crude oil prices will buttress price of guar in India, he maintained. 
The guarseed production in India stood at around 1-1.05 crore bags (a bag weighs 100kilogram) in 2016 compared to 1.75 crore bags in 2016. 



The Economic Times