Chief Correspondent, Commodities, India
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Aug 3, 2015

India retains monsoon rain forecast in drought territory

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India has retained its forecast for this year’s monsoon rains at 88 percent of the long-period average as a strengthening El Nino weather pattern is likely to trim rainfall in August-September to 84 percent, raising fears of the first drought in six years.

In a country where nearly half of farmland lacks irrigation, poor rainfall in the second half of the June-September monsoon season may stoke food inflation and limit ability of India’s central bank to cut lending rates.

Aug 1, 2015

Nestle India targets growth in other businesses after Maggi scare

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Nestle India Ltd will focus on growing its dairy, coffee and confectionary businesses, its new boss said, as the company battles to bring back its popular Maggi noodles that were pulled from shelves over safety concerns.

The unit of Swiss food giant Nestle is at the centre of India’s worst food scare in a decade after a regulator found its Maggi noodles contained dangerous levels of lead. Nestle India has maintained that Maggi is safe, and is challenging the regulator in court.

Jul 31, 2015

India to buy oilseeds from farmers in bid to slash imports

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India is to buy oilseeds and pulses directly from farmers for the first time this year, in addition to its existing purchases of wheat and rice, to boost production and close a supply gap that has driven its annual import bill up to $12 billion.

India is the world’s biggest consumer of edible oils and Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to make it self-sufficient in five years. He has identified price support and guaranteed purchases as the best ways to achieve that goal, senior government sources told Reuters.

Jul 28, 2015

India’s No.4 state bank may take over steelmakers to recover debt

NEW DELHI, July 28 (Reuters) – India’s fourth-largest state
lender by assets could take control of some of the country’s
most heavily indebted steel companies and sell them on as part
of a restructuring backed by New Delhi, bank officials said.

Punjab National Bank (PNB), a quarter of whose
nearly $4 billion portfolio of steel loans is stressed, is
considering taking charge of some companies over the next two
years, changing their management and then selling stakes,
Executive Director K.V. Brahmaji Rao said.

Jul 27, 2015

India to sell high-grade iron pellets to Iran as ties strengthen

NEW DELHI/MANILA, July 27 (Reuters) – An Indian state
company has agreed to sell high-quality iron ore pellets to
Iran, its chairman told Reuters, in what could be a $200 million
annual deal that signifies expanding business ties between the
countries as sanctions against Tehran ease.

India had remained one of Iran’s top oil buyers despite
trade curbs over Iran’s nuclear programme and the two countries
are now exploring partnerships worth billions of dollars in
ports, steel, aluminium and power.

Jul 21, 2015

Vedanta may cut jobs at aluminium unit as prices tank

NEW DELHI/BHUBANESWAR, India (Reuters) – The aluminium business of Vedanta Ltd(VDAN.NS: Quote, Profile, Research) has scaled down operations and may make “huge” job cuts due to low world prices and rising imports, its head told Reuters, urging the government to double the tariffs on foreign supply.

Vedanta, controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal, is running its main plant at a third of capacity even as global output in the first half of the year rose at its fastest pace since 2010. China, the world’s biggest producer, raised output by 18 percent against world growth of 10.3 percent.

Jul 21, 2015

India’s Vedanta may cut jobs at aluminium unit as prices tank

NEW DELHI/BHUBANESWAR, India, July 21 (Reuters) – The
aluminium business of India’s Vedanta Ltd has scaled
down operations and may make “huge” job cuts due to low world
prices and rising imports, its head told Reuters, urging the
government to double the tariffs on foreign supply.

Vedanta, controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal, is running
its main plant at a third of capacity even as global output in
the first half of the year rose at its fastest pace since 2010.
China, the world’s biggest producer, raised output by 18 percent
against world growth of 10.3 percent.

Jul 16, 2015

Insight- Is it end of the line for South Asia’s ship graveyards?

ALANG, India/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – In the world’s biggest ship recycling centre of Alang on India’s Arabian Sea coast, workers with blow torches cut segments of steel stripped from the rusting hull of a towering cargo ship, sold for scrap by its Japanese owner.

But in this town – located in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat – more than half of the ship-breaking yards have shut in the past two years and the future of the trade in India and neighbours Bangladesh and Pakistan is bleak.

Jul 16, 2015

Is it end of the line for South Asia’s ship graveyards?

ALANG, India/SINGAPORE, July 17 (Reuters) – In the world’s
biggest ship recycling centre of Alang on India’s Arabian Sea
coast, workers with blow torches cut segments of steel stripped
from the rusting hull of a towering cargo ship, sold for scrap
by its Japanese owner.

But in this town – located in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s
home state of Gujarat – more than half of the ship-breaking
yards have shut in the past two years and the future of the
trade in India and neighbours Bangladesh and Pakistan is bleak.

Jul 16, 2015

South Korea’s POSCO may scrap planned $12 bln India steel project

NEW DELHI/BHUBANESWAR, India, July 16 (Reuters) – South
Korean steelmaker POSCO could scrap plans for a $12
billion project it agreed to set up in India a decade ago, after
a new law made it costlier to source iron ore for the plant, a
company spokesman told Reuters.

The U.S.-listed shares of POSCO fell as much as 3.3
percent to their lowest in more than six and a half years after
the report.

    • About Krishna

      "I lead the India commodities team for Reuters in New Delhi. I cover the coal, metals and mining industries with a focus on government policy. Before coming to the capital in April 2013, I headed two teams of reporters covering small-and-medium-sized U.S./Canada-listed energy and resources companies."
      Joined Reuters:
      August, 2009
      Languages:
      Assamese
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