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Thanks to good rains, cotton output seen rising 4% to 34.5 m balesq

Aug 21, 2017

Cotton output is expected to increase 4 per cent to 34.5 million bales (of 170 kg each) in the cotton year ending September on the back of sharp rise in yield.
 
However, the acreage under cotton has dropped 11 per cent to 10.84 million hectares (12.29 million hectares). The yield per hectare is expected to increase to 541 kg from 459 kg, according to the second advanced estimate released after the Cotton Advisory Board met here on Friday.
 
Export to decline
Kavita Gupta, Textile Commissioner and Chairperson of CAB, said cotton export is expected to decline to 6 million bales this year from 6.9 million bales last year with concern over availability of cotton in domestic markets.
 
Exports to Pakistan have fallen drastically while Bangladesh accounted for 40 per cent of total exports from India till May.
 
There are reports of pink ballworm attacks in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh, and whitefly attack in Punjab and Haryana. But better crop management and efficient protection mechanism would reduce the impact on the productivity in the coming season, she added.
 
Next Season
The area under cotton crop is expected to bounce back to 11.9 million hectares the next season and the output is set to grow in double digits, Gupta said.
 
We are expecting the area under cotton to increase as the monsoon was on time and farmers got a better price for their crop. So, some area under pulses was diverted to cotton, she added.
 
Data compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture till mid-August show 18 per cent increase in cotton acreage for the crop year 2017-18 (October–September).
 
The use of home-grown cotton variety developed by the Central Institute for Cotton Research, Nagpur, has increased this year as there were reports of pest attack in Bt cotton variety, Gupta said.
 
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has also come up with more native varieties, which are good in yield. Once they are commercialised in 2017-18, the area under the indigenous variety will increase further, she added.
    
Source: The Hindu Businessline



Trade policy review may look to help exporters with GST blues

Aug 21, 2017

The mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) — likely next month — may provide relief to exporters reeling under the impact of the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, with the Centre examining if some lost benefits could be restored.
 
The Commerce Ministry is in talks with the Finance Ministry and the GST Council to expand the scope of the popular ‘Advance Authorisation’ scheme to allow Integrated GST (IGST) exemption on imported inputs, in addition to basic customs duty, a government official told BusinessLine.
 
Changes are also likely to rules on supplies to export-oriented units (EOUs) from the domestic tariff area (DTA), which are currently not being treated as ‘deemed exports’.
 
Exporters have been complaining that by restricting exemptions in the advance authorisation to only the basic customs duties on inputs, the scheme has become unattractive and that many may opt out if IGST is also not exempted, the official said.
 
It is accepted international practice — in countries where GST and VAT exist — to give exemptions to exporters from such taxes on imported inputs, he added.
 
Under the GST regime, DTA manufacturers supplying to EOUs are not allowed to import the inputs without payment of duty under Advance Authorisation. “The DTA suppliers have to pay the basic customs duty, cesses and IGST for imported inputs. They are entitled to input tax credit of only IGST. Basic customs duty and cesses thereon are cost to them,” points out the Engineering Export Promotion Council.
 
The mid-term review of the FTP (2015-2020), likely next month, will try to sort out some of the problems faced by exporters if the GST Council gives its consent.
 
There is nothing that the Commerce Ministry can do without the approval from the GST Council. It is being hoped that all issues being faced by exporters, which can be sorted out by the Centre, will get resolved in the review. If not, efforts in the direction would continue, the official said.
 
India’s exports have been growing consistently for the past eleven months, but the pace of growth has slackened. Exports in 2016-17 grew 4.71 per cent to $274.64 billion compared with the previous fiscal, it was after two years of continuous decline.
    
Source: The Hindu Businessline



APEC trade committee in Ho Chi Minh City to discuss food trade hurdles

Aug 21, 2017

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Committee on Trade and Investment gathered in Ho Chi Minh City recently, seeking measures to ease bottlenecks to safe and efficient food trade between APEC member economies.
 
Policymakers must ensure that foreign products does not harm local consumers, crops or livestock, but too many regulatory requirements limit regulators' ability to guarantee the safety of food imports and bury food exporters in administrative red tape, said an APEC study of non-tariff barriers in agriculture and food trade.
 
Marie Sherlyn Aquia, chair, APEC Committee on Trade and Investment, stated, There are over 80 different official certificates in the APEC region. Certificate requirements for food exports must be focused, streamlined, science-based and compliant with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.
 
To this end, technical terms in the paperwork, for example, are to be aligned across APEC economies to minimise confusion and facilitate communication across food businesses and regulators. This also means scaling back requirements that exceed baseline needs.
 
The initiative to streamline food export regulations follows a call by the leaders of APEC’s member economies for the reduction of unnecessary requirements in official certificates for agricultural products.
 
Agriculture and regulatory officials from APEC economies are concurrently meeting in the southern Can Tho city to take next policy steps towards safer and more robust food trade in the region.
 
They are attending a high-level policy dialogue on food security and sustainable agriculture in response to climate change, introducing new initiatives for mitigating the effects of climate change on the region’s agriculture trade and food security.
 
The third APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM 3) and related meetings are underway in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, and will conclude on August 30, 2017.
 
A total of 75 meetings of four committees and 26 working and sub-working groups in various fields, including trade and investment, business facilitation, science, technology and innovation and anti-corruption, are being held.
 
The meetings, especially SOM 3 (which is slated to take place in Ho Chi Minh City on August 29 and 30), are aimed at bridging structural and resource gaps for realising more free and equitable trade and growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
 
Officials are focused on boosting transparency and participation in trade agreement negotiations, while easing trade barriers faced by businesses at and behind borders.
    
Source: FNB News



Oil palm industry welcomes hike in import duties

Aug 21, 2017

The Oil Palm Developers and Processors Association (OPDPA), an association of oil palm firms, has welcomed the Union government move to increase the import duties on palm oil. The government raised import duty on crude palm oil to 15 per cent from current 7.5 per cent and on refined palm oil to 25 per cent from the current 15 per cent.
 
The impact of increase on crude Palm Oil alone translates to around Rs. 40-60 crore extra in the hands of the farmer, OPDPA President Sanjay Goenka has said.
 
The move by government brings in a strong sense of self-sufficiency to the oil palm ecosystem. The price paid to the farmer is based on the realisation that palm oil fetches in the market. Increase in import duty helps in increase of price of palm products, thereby resulting in higher price of the produce to the farmers, he said here in a statement on Friday.
 
The industry for long is asking the government to help promote domestic production by offering incentives to farmers. In order to incentivise the farmers, it wanted some protection from imports.
 
The duty hike would help farmers to get remunerative price for their produce and help the domestic processing industry remain self-sufficient, he felt.
 
Price fluctuations
 
He wanted the government to take measures to insulate the farmers from price fluctuations. While this development (increase in import duties) is extremely positive and addresses some of the challenges, there is a need to ensure that the farmer is protected from price fluctuations. A price stability mechanism is required to keep farmer’s price remunerative at all times, he felt.
    
Source: The Hindu Businessline



Commerce Ministry holds 60 outreach programmes on GST

Aug 21, 2017

The commerce ministry has organised over 60 outreach programmes since July 1 for members of trade and industry on issues related to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), an official said today.
 
It has also established GST cells in all public sector undertakings including MMTC, STC, PEC and India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), which come within the ministry’s purview.
 
The whole aim is to disseminate all information related to GST to all the stakeholders, said the official, who did not want to be named.
 
Besides these state-run firms, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) here and its different regional offices too have set up a GST facilitation cells to resolve issues of exporters and importers.
 
All the senior officials of the ministry and customs authorities are attending those outreach programmes being organised by Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) and different export promotion councils, the official said.
 
Although the ministry is taking steps to help exporters deal with issues related to indirect tax regime, FIEO has demanded resolution of their concern pertaining to liquidity crunch.
 
Besides high cost of credit which has been blunting the competitive edge of our exports, restriction on inter-state job work from unregistered suppliers are also some of the other major issues which should be looked into by the government, FIEO President Ganesh Kumar Gupta has said in a statement.
 
He added that the order booking position from October onwards is not very promising and increasing pressure on liquidity under GST may affect exports in the last quarter of 2017.
    
Source: The Hindu Businessline



Steps taken to strengthen economic ties with Southeast Asia: Sitharaman

Aug 21, 2017

Union Commerce and Industries Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said that steps have been taken to strengthen economic ties with several South East Asian countries especially neighbouring Myanmar.
 
The Centre will be working together with Manipur government to pursue this course to improve international trade relations, Sitharaman told reporters at Imphal airport. 
 
She said India has been trying to expand trade relations with SE Asian countries in association with the state government.
 
The union minister said efforts are on to establish border haats at the Indo-Myanmar border town of Moreh.

 

    
Source: The Economic Times



India to host a Mega International Food & Beverage Trade show – ‘Indus Food’ in January, 2018

Aug 21, 2017

With the Indian F&B industry on a massive growth trajectory and revival of Global trade in food and beverage witnessing a fair amount of growth, the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) with the support of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Department of Commerce, Govt. of India, today, announced the inception of India’s first ever Mega Global Food & Beverage Trade Show – ‘Indus Food’. 
 
The logo and the event website was launched by the Commerce and Industry Minister, Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman at a gala event represented by Embassy officials of different countries, trade leaders and top exporters from India. With an objective to make India a global trading hub, ‘Indus Food’ will be organized at India Exposition Mart, Greater Noida from 18th-19th January 2018. India being a key food supplier in various categories, Indus Food, will bring together Indian exporters and international buyers under one roof to facilitate opportunities for business transactions and mutual benefits contributing to the food industry worldwide. TheIndian food exports stood at $31 Billion in 2015 and is expected to have a healthy growth.
 
India is the key producer of Rice, Wheat, Milk, Castor Seed, Sesame, Mango, Banana, Chickpeas, marine products and many more commodities like tea, coffee, spices, etc. Indus Food has been conceptualized to enable the Indian Food Industry to provide a platform to showcasethe diverse and wide range of food products to the global importers. It will bring together over 400 selected high quality Indian suppliers of Food products under 12 curated Zones including Consumer Food, Dairy products, Spices, Oil and Oil Seeds, Organic and Medicinal plants, Fruits and Vegetables, ingredients, Beverages etc.who will have an opportunity to showcase their products to over 500 global buyers.
 
Announcing the inception of Indus Food, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman, said, the commerce ministry is continuously taking steps to improve the prospects of India’s trade and commerce and as part of its ongoing effort has taken this initiative to create a mega food show which aspires to establish itself among the best food shows in the world. The Food Industry is one of the major contributors not only to India’s GDP but alsoprovides a livelihood to a vast population. The diversity and the rich quality of Indian food products need to be integrated with the global market place to enable the farmers to realize better produce for their farm products.
 
She also said, with the inception of Indus Food, the Indian Food industry will have a platform to showcase its strength to the world emphatically and realize its immense potential. It reverberates with our commitment towards making India a global hub for food products.
 
Commerce Secretary Smt. RituTeaotia, hailed India as the favored location to host a food trade show of this scale. She said, Indus Food is a brilliant initiative that will provide a much-needed platform to Indian exporters to connect, network and explore new partnerships with global buyers. Owing to availability of prosperous crops and a suitable climate, India remains a strategic location to host a global food trade show. We are adopting all necessary measures to boost Indian trade across the globe and will capitalize on the goodwill generated by World Food India being organized by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries which is scheduled to be held in November this year.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. MohitSingla, Chairman, TPCI, said, In spite of such a huge potential, India lacked a platform of its own, which highlights the food production capacities of the country. IndusFoodputs India on the International Food Show map with a personalized and a comprehensive ecosystem for buyers and sellers on the lines of globally established food trade shows like SIAL, Anuga&Gulfood.We are sure that Indus food will immensely help the buyers to establish the required network and expand their businesses internationally and will be a mutually beneficial experience.
 
Indus Food is set to revolutionize the concept and put India on International Food Trade show map. It brings a host of unique initiatives like App based buyer-seller matches, hosted buyer program, Networking events, Food Zones and key note addresses from industry experts to build a comprehensive ecosystem for suppliers and importers.
 
One of the largest agricultural producers, India continues its legacy of being the food bowl of the world currently valued at a $258 billion. Indus Food, with a well-defined set of programs is set to emerge as a Mega Food & Beverage Industry trade show of the world where global importers includingHotel Chains, Supermarket chains, airline caterers etc. will develop synergies and network with Indian suppliers at a huge scale. This initiative is supported by APEDA, Marine products development authority of India, Tea Board of India, Coffee Board of India, Spices Board of India, IOPEPC, CEPCI and SOPA.
    
Source: Orissa Diary



World Food India roadshow evokes good response in Himachal

Aug 21, 2017

Over 200 industrialists and businessmen took part at the World Food India roadshow held here today which was organised to invite the state's industrialists to participate in World Food India 2017 to be held in November in New Delhi.
 
The World Food India roadshow, organised by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), was addressed by Anuradha Prasad, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industry, and A J V Prasad, Additional Chief Secretary, Industries, Government of Himachal Pradesh and Rajesh Sharma, Director, industries, Government of Himachal Pradesh.
 
Anuradha Prasad said that World Food India 2017 is a platform for showcasing the food processing strength of India and an opportunity to connect with international and Indian players in food processing and allied sectors.
 
She said that the three-day mega event World Food India-2017' would  be held in New Delhi from November 3 to 5 and 80 multinational companies and CEOs of 30 global companies have confirmed their participation.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi would inaugurate the mega event.
 
Discussing the investment and growth opportunities in food processing sector with business leaders, Prasad briefed the business community about the government schemes related to food processing industry and highlighted the benefits of Kisan Sampada scheme and said that it will benefit 20 lakh farmers and generate 5,30,500 direct and indirect employment in the country by 2019-20.
 
Himachal Pradesh has great potential in the food processing sector and World Food India is the most suitable platform for the industry from the state to avail benefits being offered by the government to set up food processing units such as no income tax deduction for the first five years, she added.
 
The manufacturing facilities in the state are well suited for the food processing sector as there is a mega food park in Tehsil Haroli District, Una by Cremica Food Park Pvt Ltd.
 
Concurrently, for marketing the agricultural produce, there is a modernized market complex at Solan she said adding agri export zones have been set up for apples in Kinnaur, Shimla, Sirmour, Kulu, Mandi and Chamba.
 
Nine cold chain units have been approved in the state and there are 41 industrial areas in the state.
Prasad urged the business community for maximum participation in the event at New Delhi and look for new opportunities and collaboration with other Indian and global companies.
 
A J V Prasad, Additional Chief Secretary, Industries, Government of Himachal Pradesh, said, The newly-approved Central Sector Scheme Sampada -is very helpful and we are hopeful that the new scheme, targeted to give thrust to overall development of food processing sector in the country would go a long way in augmenting the capacity of food processing through technology infusion; creating effective backward and forward linkages; effective supply chain and transport logistics for perishable products; creating modern infrastructure for development of agro-processing clusters and promoting skill development. PCL JM
    
Source: Times of India



NAFED to procure pulses, oilseeds using NeML platform

Aug 21, 2017

The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and NCDEX e Markets Ltd. (NeML) have signed an agreement for creating an e-platform for procurement of pulses and oilseeds across the country. 
 
The e-procurement platform is an Aadhaar-enabled and transparent platform that provides an end-to-end solution from farm-gate till its storage in a warehouse and its disposal. The platform would be used by all NAFED State units for procurement of pulses and oilseeds. NeML would work closely with NAFED team at the centre and states to ensure the execution of the e-procurement platform. 
 
Sanjeev Chaddha, Managing Director and CEO of NAFED said: Our agreement with NeML would help NAFED in creating an efficient transparent and competitive e-procurement platform in line with its expanding role in helping pulse growers get a remunerative price and help contain consumer prices according to the Government mandate. 
 
Pulses and oilseeds prices fell below minimum support price a few months ago and farmers made heavy losses. If the new arrangement of NAFED succeeds than farmers will get better price of their produce. So far intermediates and traders were making money at the cost of farmers. 
 
Speaking on the occasion, Rajesh Sinha, Managing Director and CEO of NeML said, Our agreement with NAFED would help farmers’ in enhancing their income.
 
The platform is linked with the Core Banking System (CBS) of banks for Direct Bank Transfers (DBT) to the farmers’ account, said a joint press statement issued by both entities. It added that Entire supply chain – from Procurement to Disposal– would be enabled with real-time information available about the critical parameter of procurement like a total number of lots procured, their availability in the Warehouse at any given point of time, and the number of lots dispatched from the Warehouse.
    
Source: Business Standard



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