June saw a sharp rise in the import bill for gold, along with a fall in silver imports.
In May last year, the Reserve bank of India directed banks not to import gold on a consignment basis, denting inflows in June. This year, there was some easing in the number of entities allowed to import. As a result, gold import surged to $ 3.1 billion in June, from $ 1.9 billion a year earlier.
Tea prices in South India have declined by 13.5% to Rs 90 per kg between January and May 2014 as against Rs 104 per kg in the corresponding period last year despite lower production due to extreme weather conditions during this period.
Cotton growers in Gujarat and Maharashtra, two major growing states in India, are gearing up to bring more area under it with the monsoon reaching the state. The delay in the arrival of monsoon has affected the sowing of paddy and groundnut in Gujarat; farmers are diverting that area to cotton. In some other states, the area earmarked for pulses is also being diverted to cotton, a short-cycle crop.
A deferred monsoon resulting in more production and, thereby, more supply of raw salt has led to prices of the commodity falling 15-30 per cent in recent weeks. From the usual Rs 700-750 a tonne, prices are now Rs 550-600 a tonne, say those in the sector.
Switzerland-based Trafigura has launched an online store in India to sell aluminium, copper and other metals, seeking a slice of the $ 8 billion market and becoming the first big commodities trader to cater to hordes of small manufacturers dotting the country.