Futures in rubber, soyoil may start this wk

Written by Commodities Bureau | New Delhi, Mumbai | Updated: Dec 2 2008, 06:51am hrs
A day after the six-months-long suspension of futures trading in potato, refined soyaoil, rubber and chana (chickpeas) lapsed on Sunday, commodities markets regulator, Forward Markets Commission (FMC), indicated that futures trading in these commodities could commence within next few days. Futures trading for four commodities that were suspended in May is expected to resume within the next 2 - 3 days after the contracts are processed and approved, FMC chairman BC Khatua told FE.

A senior official with the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), the countrys largest agriculture exchange in terms of volume, confirmed that they have asked the FMC for permission to re-launch the futures trade in these products. We have already applied for permission to trade in these commodities a few days ago with similar contracts of all the four commodities, Unupom Kausik, chief business officer, NCDEX, said.

Similarly, the Multi-Commodity Exchange (MCX) has also sought permission from the FMC to re-launch futures trade in four commodities with same contract specifications for barring potato. We have asked for a change in specifications for potato while for other commodities the contracts remain the same, Joseph Massey, managing director, CEO, MCX, said. He said that the exchange had asked for change in specifications on the size of potato as rains last year affected the size. The new specifications would be applied for futures trading for March 2009 contracts for potato and January 2009 contracts for chana, soyoil and rubber, Massey said. Potato was largely traded on MCX platform, while chana and soyoil were actively traded on NCDEX and rubber was traded on the National Multi-Commodity Exchange of India (NMCE).

The government had suspended futures trading in the four commodities for four months in May 6, mainly due to pressure mounted by Left parties who had blamed futures trading for the rise in prices of commodities. The ban was later extended till November 30 when inflation showed no sign of abating.

The FMC will soon issue a circular to the exchanges directing the start of futures trading in rubber, refined soyoil, chana and potato, Khatua said. According to traders, rubber spot prices have slumped to Rs 6,800 per quintal on Monday from Rs 9,413 per quintal on January , 2008. Prices of refined soya oil (ex-factory) have declined from Rs 52,850 per tonne on January 1 2008 to Rs 47,350 on Monday.

Chana prices remained stable at Rs 30-Rs 40 a kg in the major cities, while potato remained mostly unchanged at Rs 5-Rs 10 per kg during last few months.