Guar gum prices slip on rains as sowing improves in India
Despite delayed rainfall, the sown area under guar is likely to remain lower than before.
Despite delayed rainfall, the sown area under guar is likely to remain lower than the last season when farmers received better remuneration compared to the previous season.
“Rains in guar growing districts have weakened the prices in the last few days as sentiments of higher output have prevailed. The guar sowing is expected to improve in several guar growing districts in Rajasthan where delayed rains have left few sowing options for the farmers,” said KS Talwar, director, Jai Bharat Gum and Chemicals Ltd.
The revival in rains is likely to improve prospects for output in the coming season, Talwar said, adding prices have fallen 1 per cent in the last four days in the export market.
Exporters of guar gum say prices of the commodity have dropped 5 per cent in the export market over the last few weeks.
“The export prices that were being quoted at $1,400 per tonne in the first week this month, have come down to $1,300 per tonne,” a Rajasthan-based trader said.
Sowing had lagged in rain-fed areas of Rajasthan due to less rainfall till last week.
“Rains in the next few days will encourage sowing in the rain-fed area where farmers are likely to increase area of guar and pulses that have been lagging due to less rains so far,” a senior official of the Rajasthan agriculture department said.
The guar sowing area in Haryana, the second largest producer of guar seed, is expected to fall substantially as farmers opt for crops covered under the Minimum Support Price regime.
Guar was cultivated over 2.46 lakh hectares in the state last year. “The area is likely to fall below 1 lakh hectares despite the rains in Haryana,” an official in the Haryana agriculture department said.
Farmers in Rajasthan, the largest producer of guar seed, restricted guar cultivation to 30-32 lakh hectares in 2018-19 compared to around 50 lakh hectares in 2013-14.
Guar gum exports stood at 5.13 lakh tonnes in the previous financial year, an increase of 3.9 per cent over the corresponding period. Guar gum is derived from guar seed and is widely used in oil and gas drilling.
The annual market for guar seed in India is estimated at 1.1 lakh bags, and the commodity is largely exported.
“Prices had shown an upswing at the beginning of the season and farmers got Rs 4,500 per 100 kg, but the market subsided during the rest of the season,” said Vishal Shah, director of the Gujarat-based Vedaliya Exports. “Carryover stock is likely to affect prices,” he added.