ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Make-Believe Price Freeze

Make-Believe Price Freeze D P Sharma NEW DELHI'S approach to the management of the admittedly difficult edible oil situation betrays not only a lack of proper perception of the basic market fundamentals but also a feeling of helplessness bordering on desperation. What else is one to make of three union ministers (Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram and Kamaluddin Ahmed), the Gujarat chief minister and his state civil supplies minister meeting representatives of oil millers and the trading community at Gandhinagar on November 30 to persuade them to agree to a voluntary reduction of Rs 5 per kg in the retail price of groundnut oil to Rs 38 per kg and maintain it at this level for at least three months?

Textile Export Prospects Hazy

Textile Export Prospects Hazy D P Sharma THE way the cotton scenario has unfolded itself has brought into much sharper focus than ever before the imperative need to improve the crop information system. Even the most experienced persons in the trade and industry, who keep a close watch on the progress of the crop and its movement, had not envisaged the kind of change that has come about in the cotton scene over the past few weeks. The altogether tentative estimate, based on the area sown under highly favourable weather conditions, had held out hope of a record crop touching the 140 lakh bales mark. The Cotton Advisory Board which met on August 29 to make a preliminary assess- ment of the 1991-92 crop prospects placed the crop at 130 lakh bales. This figure has since been gradually revised down. The ICMF now expects a crop of 118 lakh bales while the CCl is currently reckoning the crop at 116.5 lakh bales. There are not a few who think that the crop might not exceed 112 lakh bales.

Not Speculator s Doing Alone

Not Speculator's Doing Alone D P Sharma THE stock market pushed ahead to scale new peaks towards the close of the third week of November. But, unable to maintain its equipoise on the slippery ground, it had a nasty fall. While it might not have to bother much about the injuries which do not appear all that serious, any hasty move could prove risky. The market seems firmly set to scale new peaks but the course it might have to follow and the difficulties it may have to encounter on the way up are difficult to predict.

Edible Oils New Season Outlook

Edible Oils: New Season Outlook D P Sharma THE annual conventions of the all-India oilseeds and oils trade and industry held in November and April are always look- ed forward to with keen interest as much for the opportunity they provide for promoting business contacts as for exchange of views on how the vegetable oils economy would perform during the season beginning with November. No two crop years are really alike because of the varying domestic supply-demand equation and developments in the international environment which have an important bearing on the fortunes of the solvent extraction industry inextricably linked with export prospects.

Two Decades On

Two Decades On D P Sharma THE Cotton Corporation of India which celebrated on November 11 two decades of its existence could not have hoped for a more propitious time. The corporation which had to be extricated, not many years ago, from the financial debris it had got deeply buried under (having accumulated a loss of well over Rs 100 crore against a share capital of Rs 19 crore) through a massive salvage operation (replacement of the loss by government loans amounting to Rs 92.50 crore spread over 1983-84 to 1985-86) presents altogether different picture, reflecting essentially qualitative change in management rather than improved operational environment.

Enthralled by Liberalisation

Enthralled by Liberalisation D P Sharma AFTER beating a strategic retreat from its mid-September all-time high mark and retracing nearly one-fourth of the ground gained since the beginning of the year, the stock market is again firmly set on its journey into space. The October low has not been seen again and the lost ground has been fully recovered. Considering the amplitude and the duration of the virtual non-stop rise from the January low to the September high, the corrective phase has had a very short duration. Last year the corrective phase lasted for nearly four months beginning with October 9 and it retraced almost two-thirds of the preceding rise. The process of technical adjust ment this time was cut short by the re- emergence of good support from institutional investors

No Relief for Consumers

No Relief for Consumers D P Sharma THE 1990-91 oil year which ended with October is notable as much for the record oilseeds production

Very Different Scenario

Very Different Scenario DESPITE a much smaller opening stock of 19.39 lakh bales (against 30.79 lakh bales last season), extremely restricted supply from the new crop so far and reports of heavy damage to the crop in the central belt because of the drought conditions, cotton prices have come down by Rs 1,800 to Rs 4,500 a candy (11.6 per cent to 26 per cent), according to variety, from their August all-time highs. The current decline is essentially in the nature of a correction of the earlier speculative excesses. The decline in cotton yarn prices (5 per cent to 14-per cent) following the ban on yarn exports has also had a salutary impact on the cotton market.

Gross Inadequacies

Gross Inadequacies D P Sharma THE stock market scene has undergone a perceptible change since about middle of Setpember. Bullish fervour which had reached a feverish pitch has cooled off quite a bit, the mood of unbounded optimism giving way to a distinct feeling of caution and hesitancy. Most equity price indices recorded their all-time highs on September 16 which have not been repeated so far. After making a few abortive bids to move beyond the September 16 high the market has been inclined lower with intermittent rallies induced mainly by occasional institutional purchases and some short covering.

From Optimism to Anxiety

From Optimism to Anxiety D P Sharma THE country has had a good monsoon for the fourth year in succession

Cotton Corporation s Role

Cotton Corporation's Role D P Sharma INQUIRIES with knowledgeable persons in the cotton trade about the latest position of the crop indicate that there is a fair chance of the 1991-92 crop improving upon the previous record harvest of 133.5 lakh bales in 1989-90, if only the cotton growing tracts in Saurashtra and Rajasthan receive some rain by the end of the first week of October. Even conservative estimates do not now place the crop below 130 lakh bales. It is said that only unseasonal rains during November- December can upset these calculations. One hopes this does not happen. The cotton mill industry can hopefully look forward to assured supply of raw material during the current season. How cotton prices will move under conditions of improved supply is difficult to predict because factors influencing prices are many

Unbounded Optimism

Unbounded Optimism D P Sharma THE stock market has been very much in the news recently, as much because of the unabated boom in equity prices as for the debate over the Pherwani Committee's highly controversial proposal for the setting up of a National Stock Exchange in New Bombay and New Delhi's directive to the stock exchanges to implement certain measures "in the interest of the long- term growth of the stock market and for ensuring investor protection".


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