1. Commodity News

NCDEX to Begin Trading in Gur Futures from 15th December

Abhijeet Banerjee
Abhijeet Banerjee

NCDEX shall begin trading in Gur futures Tuesday onwards. The contract details are available in the exchange website under the Circular section. NCDEX is the national exchange dealing in Agriculture Commodity Trading. Gur or Jaggery is prepared by concentrating the sugarcane juice. It is available in the form of solid block and in semiliquid form. It is a natural product of sugarcane. Major markets of Jaggery or Gur are concentrated in Northern India and UP is the benchmark market with Mujaffarnagar, Meerut and Hapur being the key trading centres. Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan lead in consumption. The Kushinagar district of Uttar Pradesh has a large number of Gur manufacturing units. UP, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are major producers in India. Cost of production of Gur is not very high, but storage is a matter of concern sometimes. In rural areas, Gur is often used as a sweetener instead of sugar mostly.

Jaggery plays an important role in this health conscious era where healthy food is preferred over normal food. Jaggery or Gur is also called as non-centrifugal sugar. Jaggery had much nutritional and medicinal aspect like its anti-carcinogenic and antitoxic activity. Scientific studies have already indicated that this product has more health related benefits when compared to white sugar. In recently sugar consumers turn to other sources of natural sweetener for health issues. The biscuit industry in the recent years has registered a growth of around 8-10% pa. In the biscuit category, cream and specialty biscuits are growing at faster pace at 20% pa. Currently, the estimated bakeries engaged in India are 2 million approximately. The confectionery industry is segmented into sugar-boiled confectionery, chocolates, mints and chewing gums. The sugar boiled confectionery comprises hard-boiled candy, toffees etc. The confectionery industry has a current capacity of 85,000 tonnes and the growth rate per annum is 10-15%.

Jaggery or Gur goes for human consumption mainly, and is used in making sweet items. Some percentage is also used by the Feed industry i.e. it is mixed with the Feed rations. It is also consumed in raw form. Jaggery is also used in making alcoholic drinks and Ayruveda medicines. Jaggery is majorly used in the food processing industry for confectionery items, toffees, chocolates, chewing gums etc. Gur is popular in South East Asia, Latin America, North Africa and Caribbean Islands, though different products (sugar cane, date palm tree, sago palm, coconut palm) are used in making Gur in these areas.

India accounts for more than 60% of world Jaggery production, but Brazil is the major exporter. India’s production is mainly absorbed in the domestic markets hence limiting the exportable surplus. Brazil, India, Thailand, Australia, Germany, & Mexico are biggest producer while leading importing countries are USA, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan etc. India is recognized as one of the leading traders as well as exporters of Jaggery or Gur. India had exported nearly 3.42 Lakh MT of Jaggery and confectionery products to the world for the worth of Rs. 1,633.22 crores/ 227.90 USD Millions during the year 2019-20. Leading importing nations during this year were Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Nepal, Malaysia, and Tanzania. Gur prices are mainly affected by sugar cane production, government policies, and the normal demand-supply factors. Mujaffarnagar will be the key delivery Centre for NCDEX Gur at present.

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