Rice, wheat prices up

Post Source: Dawn Economic and Business Review


AFTER several lean weeks, activity on the Karachi wholesale markets showed a considerable improvement, but prices generally rose initially under the lead of rice and wheat amid active short-covering. Much of the physical activity, however, remained confined to some essential counters where floor brokers reported pressure on supplies. Leading among them was rice including IRRI and kernel type on reports of exports at higher levels. The biggest rise of Rs250 per 40 kg was noted in sela type of basmati followed by kernel, which rose by Rs100.

Wheat also showed a modest rise of Rs20 per 40kg on reports of export deals with some foreign countries including Bangladesh. A ship from Bangladesh was on the port to load a consignment of 13,000 tons, exporters said.

Arrival from upcountry markets remained fairly steady, which in turn did not allow speculative increase in prices and most of the increases were orderly.

Dealers said price changes were mostly orderly and did not reflect speculative rise on any of the counters amid two-way activity and higher ready off-take.

Industrial sector showed two-way active trading as some of the commodities showed rise under the lead of guar seeds and some cotton based items because of a record rise in cotton prices owing to a short crop, they added.

The sharp rise in guar seed prices was attributed to last year’s crop losses owing to floods. But some local dealers claimed the new crop was comparatively better and prices may come down.

On essentials counters, wheat and sugar prices remained stable despite higher demand followed by reports of steady arrivals from upcountry market.

Some exporters have purchased about 0.4 million tons of wheat and are in advanced talks for another 0.2 million tons, after having signed export deals with some foreign buyers, market sources said.

Sugar prices remained stable around previous levels, although dealers reported a fairly large business at unchanged rates in an apparent effort to sell it later at higher rates. However, there were indications that steady arrival of new crop from Sindh mills did not allow fresh rise or speculative squeeze, they said.

On the export front, news was encouraging as rice was steadily being shipped to various countries under forward deals. The recent increase in global prices is expected to add to earnings of the private sector exporters and could touch last year’s level despite a short crop, rice exporters said.

On counters of other essentials, price of pulses showed a tendency to rise but the increase was orderly and was confined mostly to imported types.

Prices of gram whole and masoor showed a modest rise. As a result, imports of some type of pulses were far below the monthly average, they added.—M.A


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