Commexes shine amid global turmoil

Written by Commodities Bureau | New Delhi, Oct 13 | Updated: Oct 14 2008, 06:29am hrs
Notwithstanding the governments ban on futures trading on eight commodities and the turmoil in stock markets, Indian commodity exchanges continued their dazzling run. The turnover of 22 commodities exchanges across the country recorded a robust growth of more than 47% during the first half of 2008-09 and is on track to reach the targeted 57 lakh crore by the end of 2008-09.

The turnover of all exchanges went up to Rs 25.89 lakh crore during April-September up from Rs 17.55 lakh crore recorded during the corresponding period in 2007-08. Similarly, according to data released by commodity market regulator, Forward Markets Commission (FMC) on Monday, during September 15-30, the total turnover of three national commodity exchanges and 19 regional exchanges in the country doubled to Rs 2, 83,384 crore from Rs 1,42,303 crore recorded as compared to same period in the previous year. Hectic trading activity was witnessed in gold, silver, crude oil, and copper during the fortnight.

The country biggest commodity exchange, the Multi-Commodity Exchange (MCX), alone accounted for close to 90% of the turnover, a FMC statement said. According to FMC data, the turnover of MCX during the last fortnight of September stood at Rs 2,56,754 crore, while the leading agri-commodity bourse, the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Ltd (NCDEX) recorded a turnover of Rs 23,348 crore. Another national exchange based in Ahmedabad, the National Multi-Commodity Exchange of India (NMCE) registered a turnover of Rs 1,422 crore during the fortnight.

Rapeseed, guar seed, turmeric and jeera saw maximum trading activity among agricultural commodities. However, cumulative trade in agri-commodities declined by 31.9% during April-September. The government banned futures trading in eight agricultural commodities mainly for curbing rise in prices of these commodities.

In 2007, four commodities - wheat, rice, tur and urad were banned, while futures trading on four others - potato, rubber, refined soy oil and chana was put on hold in May 2008. FE has consistently reported that despite imposing a ban on futures trading, the prices of most commodities have risen. Commodity exchanges and the FMC maintain that prices of the commodities were linked to fundamentals like demand and supply and added that commodity exchanges aided farmers realise the prices of particular commodities.

Despite the curbs on futures trading, BC Khatua, chairman, FMC, has maintained that the commodity futures trade would grow at an average of 40% by the end of 2008-09 to Rs 57 lakh crore. The country which allowed functioning of the commodity exchanges in 2003, has one of the fastest growing commodity futures market with a combined trade turnover of Rs 40 lakh crore during 2007-08.