Column: India’s thirst for gasoline helps spur global oil demand – John Kemp

India’s gasoline consumption is surging and has become one of the fastest-growing components of global oil demand. With other parts of the global economy struggling, continued growth in gasoline consumption in India, together with the United States and China, has become one of the most important indicators for global oil prices. Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of ... Read More »

Exclusive: Supermarket watchdog faces review amid fears it is failing farmers

The remit of the supermarket ombudsman is set to be reviewed by the Government, following criticisms that it does not have the power to protect farmers from unfair trading practices. The Groceries Code Adjudicator was set up three years ago to help suppliers  squeezed on their profits and terms by powerful supermarkets. Christine Tacon is the first adjudicator, but her ... Read More »

Concor: near-term headwinds will weigh on valuations

After closing at an annual low recently, the share price of Container Corp. of India Ltd (Concor) has recovered a bit. However, the stock continues to languish about 30% lower than its year’s high in July. That’s after considerably outperforming the benchmark Sensex at the beginning of 2015-16. Firstly, the outlook on volumes is far from rosy. Jignesh Makwana, an ... Read More »

The gains from lower oil prices

The Brent crude price has dropped as much as two-thirds from its high in June 2014 to $37.89 per barrel. For a country that imports a huge portion of its oil requirements, this phenomenon has been a blessing for India. How much did we gain? Firstly, the lower oil prices means under-recovery (or losses from selling fuel below cost) for ... Read More »

Rail freight volume tumbles in November

Deceleration in freight volume growth is a continuing saga at the Indian Railways. Compared with 8.5% growth a year ago, freight volumes fell 4.2% in November this year. In November 2013, volume grew 3%. The last time freight traffic growth fell into negative territory was in October 2013, when volumes were down almost 2% from a year ago, data from ... Read More »

2015: A terrible year for steel

A gradual decline in capacity utilization of global steel mills has been visible in 2015, with November’s number coming in at 66.9% compared with January’s 69.5%, according to the World Steel Association. Click here for enlarge As the commodity story unravels, steel has been one of the worst affected, with falling ore prices exacerbating the impact. China’s shift to a ... Read More »

Revelations by auditor puts first trans-shipment terminal in the dock

It’s a project that continues to baffle port industry experts. India’s first attempt to build an international container trans-shipment terminal (ICTT) of its own at Vallarpadam in Cochin port to ship container cargo directly without routing it through neighbouring hub ports such as Colombo and Singapore and thus save time and costs for exporters and importers, was hailed as a ... Read More »

Messaging 2.0: Rise of smart messaging and bots

If you’re like the average mobile user, you use a messaging app to chat with friends and family. Very likely, you’re also conducting business through chat, communicating with colleagues, customers and vendors. Chatting is easy, natural and instant. But the world of messaging is about to undergo a significant change. While all your current chat buddies are probably humans, your ... Read More »

The implications of WTI closing the price gap with Brent

The gap between West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude, which was at about $20 a barrel a few years ago, has closed. In fact, WTI spot price closed higher than Brent on 15 December and 22 December (see chart). One reason for this is the potential for higher exports from the US. The US Congress has approved the removal ... Read More »

Green shoots in bank credit growth?

Bank credit growth seems to be finally picking up. As on 11 December, growth in bank credit from a year ago was 11%, well above the average rate of growth this fiscal year. The chart shows the sudden jump in credit. Of course, a fortnight’s data does not a trend make and the sudden spurt may well be a one-off ... Read More »