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India launches wheat, rice futures market
India, the world's leading grains producer, launched futures trading in wheat and rice after a gap of nearly three years giving farmers and traders the option of hedging against price fluctuations.
The National Multi Commodity Exchange Ltd (NMCE), based in Ahmedabad will provide hedging and trading facilities across several cities in the country.
The state-run Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) which has nearly 500 warehouses and storage capacity of about 10 million tonnes is a partner in the venture and will manage deliveries.
"What is especially heartening for me about this initiative is its promise of de-risking Indian agriculture in terms of irrational and erratic price fluctuation," said Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee while launching futures trading in grains.
He said the NMCE would contribute to the development of the Indian economy, particularly the country's agricultural sector.
India recently liberalised the market by permitting futures trading in almost all commodities including bullion, grains and metals.
"Futures trading in wheat and rice is a big step. It is backed by our world-class storage and testing facilities," said K.C. Tyagi, chairman of CWC.
Commodities futures trading in India dates back to 1875, but was stopped by the government in 1975. It was resumed three years later on a limited scale for very few products. Trading in some other commodities resumed only in 1997.
Last year, India allowed two more firms -- the MCX and the Bombay-based National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Ltd -- to set up new bourses with a national reach and launch online trading in several commodities.
MCX has signed agreements with two local banks to provide an online money clearing mechanism in 150 centres in the country.
The members of the exchange will be connected through a satellite-based communication system.
MGR Archive 14.12.2003
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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