Historic drop in oil prices won’t result in big gains for India - The Daily Guardian
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Historic drop in oil prices won’t result in big gains for India

Gaurie Dwivedi

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Historic drop in oil prices won’t result in big gains for India

India’s fiscal math is significantly impacted by crude economics. A country that imports over 83% of its overall oil needs, is affected by how crude trades in the global market. But India’s gain from the crude crash of 2020 is likely to be very limited. India’s oil needs are served not by US Crude (WTI Index) which witnessed a never-seen-before low of $37 per barrel. Indian oil companies, mainly public sector ones, purchase from the Middle East—mainly from the Dubai and Oman axis and these are based on the Brent crude benchmark prices. Brent—which is the international benchmark— has also witnessed a sharp dip this year on the back of lockdowns and zero economic activity globally.

In three weeks of April, Brent is a whopping 39% cheaper. But sensing this gloomy economic outlook, oil-producing countries that form the OPEC plus cartel have already announced nearly 10 per cent cut in production to lift the dipping crude oil prices. As lockdowns lift in May and demand is expected to pick up, a reduced supply will ensure an upward surge in prices. Experts predict a gradual recovery by May and a full recovery in oil by July. The gains from lower crude oil price get offset to a large extent by the present lockdown and the overall economic scenario. In the past, the government has sought to maximise windfall gains from falling crude by imposing additional taxes.

In March, the government imposed a Rs 3/litre as excise duty and can now raise it till Rs 8 per litre by recent changes in the law. But since tax collections are likely to be hit, even a further fall in crude and a further rise in taxes may not have the desired impact. In fact, it may be counter-productive reducing demand. In normal circumstances, a falling crude leads to a rapid improvement in India’s fiscal math due to lower import bill. A $10 per barrel fall in crude leads to a $15 billion improvement in current account deficit—the difference between revenue and expenditure. Besides, lower oil prices will soothe inflation as well. But in the present extraordinary circumstances, the severe mobility restrictions due to the lockdown has resulted in a sharp fall in consumption of petroleum products.

Worse still, savings from lower fuel costs in the hands of consumers is unlikely to result in any major boost to consumption and therefore growth. Due to the limited storage capacity, India is not in a position to take advantage of these prices for future use. Strategic storage to leverage falling prices is completely ruled out since our reserve capacities are not more than 5.3 million tonnes which is our oil requirement for less than 10 days. This is minuscule compared to India’s overall consumption of oil which is over 200 million tonnes plus purchases. India had targeted over 15 million tonnes of strategic oil reserves, but it’s yet to be operational. The recent depreciation of rupee adds to uncertainty as it results in a higher import bill and offsets some of the gains of lower crude. This year the rupee has depreciated by 7% and experts suggest it my fall by another 4% before stabilising.

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Cold chain startup Inficold raises USD 900,000 from RVCF and other investors

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New Delhi [India], January 23 (ANI/NewsVoir): Inficold, a Noida – based startup supported by Shell Foundation, an independent UK registered charity, that provides cold storage solutions has raised USD 900,000 (Rs 6.5 crore approximately) in a funding round from RVCF and other undisclosed high net worth individuals as a part of their Pre Series A fund closure.
The funds raised will be utilized to expand the overall manufacturing, sales and servicing capabilities by the company.
Founded in 2015, Inficold has developed a retrofittable thermal energy storage technology for storing cooling in a low-cost medium such as water to ice. The technology is designed to use solar electric energy to make ice, and later use it for cooling purposes.
Inficold’s products enable the application of thermal storage for virtually any cooling needs, be it milk, cold storage, air conditioning and vaccine refrigeration, without making any major modifications to existing cooling hardware.
The current product portfolio consists of modular cold storage, instant milk coolers and bulk milk coolers. It provides round the clock cooling with just 7 hours of grid/solar power. The modular cold storage units store 5-100 MT of farm produce in 4-16 C temperature range, whereas milk coolers cool 200-10,000 L of milk on a daily basis.
The company future vision is to permeate in dairy, horticulture, poultry, meat, cold logistics and air conditioning segments across India. The primary challenges addressed by Inficold are grid dependency, diesel and unreliable electric batteries which make cold chain cost prohibitive for developing countries. Shell Foundation has supported the company for last 4 years in various product development activities.
The company has installations in more than 17 states of India with a strong presence in North Eastern states including Assam, Meghalaya, and Tripura. Inficold is aggressively ramping up its production capacity by over 10 times. The increased capacity will allow the company to cater to the demand with minimized lead time for the customer.
Inficold’s in house R&D centre is also developing other sustainable cooling solutions in air conditioning space. The company is partnering with multiple channel partners to strengthen the local presence in sales, marketing, and installation. The company has also started leveraging international market and has few installations in African subcontinent.
The company expects sales of over 1000 units in the next 2 years with a focus towards providing sustainable cooling solutions for farm level cooling in agriculture segment.
”We are delighted to receive funding from RVCF and other investors. We had started Inficold with the mission to utilise the immense potential of cold chain solutions to increase the output of Indian agriculture. Over the last year, the accelerated growth that we have seen is clear evidence of the viability of our business model. RVCF also believes in the potential of cold chain solutions to transform Indian agriculture. We are thankful for their support,” said Dr Nitin Goel, Co-founder and CEO, Inficold, sharing his thoughts on the latest funding raised by Inficold from RVCF and other investors.
“Inficold is focusing on energy-efficient cold chain solutions across India and other markets and has developed innovative products catering to persistent problem of food wastage and distressed sales. We are excited to collaborate with Nitin and Himanshu in their journey,” said Gaurav Chowdhry, Vice President at RVCF, on supporting Inficold.
Founded in 2015 by Himanshu Pokharna and Nitin Goel, Inficold is a technology leader in sustainable and efficient cooling solutions through their thermal energy storage and off-grid solar integration for cooling. Inficold has developed a retrofittable thermal energy storage technology for storing cooling in a low-cost medium such as water to ice.
The technology is designed to use solar electric energy to make ice, and later use it for cooling purposes. Inficold’s products enable the application of thermal storage for virtually any cooling needs, be it milk, cold storage, air conditioning and vaccine refrigeration, without making any major modifications to existing cooling hardware. The current product portfolio consists of modular cold storage, instant milk coolers and bulk milk coolers. It provides round the clock cooling with just 7 hours of grid/solar power.
The modular cold storage units store 5-100 MT of farm produce in 4-16C temperature range, whereas milk coolers cool 200-10,000 L of milk on a daily basis. The company has installations in more than 17 states of India with a strong presence in North Eastern states of India, including Assam, Meghalaya, and Tripura. The company was a recipient of National Technology Award in Startup Category, 2019.
This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

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Man of export organizes a Grand 3D Event ‘Global Buyer Seller Meet’

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Surat (Gujarat) [India], January 23 (ANI/PNN): With an aim to tap the export potential of India, Bhagirath Goswami, founder of Being Exporter has been causing abundant exports and creating exporters in the country. Due to his passion and dedication in the field of exports, he has been named as the ‘Man of Exports’ by many entrepreneurs.
In order to promote Indian exports, Bhagirath helps people from all walks of life to export their consignments. Towards this cause, he organises many global events and exhibitions. This time Bhagirath is coming with a unique kind of initiative for the exporters. With the belief that ‘export is easy,’ the Man of Exports is introducing one of the biggest and the largest 3D exhibitions happening in India. ‘Global Buyer Seller Meet, ‘ is one of the most exclusive trade shows with a buyers presence from across 100+ countries. This is a virtual event happening on 29, 30 and 31 January 2021.
It will be a unique first of its kind exhibition where buyers from across the world can meet sellers of different commodities on a single online platform. The exhibition covers various commodities like agricultural products, textiles, chemicals, furniture, food, machinery, jewellery, kitchen appliances and much more. The whole idea behind the ‘Global Buyer Seller Meet is to connect buyers from different countries to sellers who have been in their business since long. The exhibition will also give buyers access to information like products, websites, presentation, chatting options and also direct video calling. The interesting part about this exhibition is that there are going to be many seminars, panel discussions and other events scheduled to run alongside the stalls. They also have an entertainment zone with live band performances and artistic shows.
Bhagirath Goswami has set a benchmark in the Indian export landscape. Starting his journey from a 21-year-old farmer who was naive about how to export his produce to founding a well-established organisation, Mr Bhagirath has come a long way. His company ‘Being Exporter’ guides small-scale entrepreneurs and inexperienced exporters on how to send their consignments and make the most of the exhibitions and events. The team of Being Exporter also assists them in communication, marketing their goods, creating leads, and turning leads into sales on the global market. With a goal to empower other exporters, Being Exporter organises worldwide conferences, webinars, and events.
If you are interested to explore the international market, then you can do so by simply booking your stall in the exhibition. As a seller, this will be the best opportunity for you to showcase your products, and meet thousands of buyers coming from different countries around the world. This will in turn generate leads and increase your exports and take your business to the next level.
Come be a part of the Global Buyer Seller Meet. Your chance to meet, network and explore the export market. This international exhibition is a once in a lifetime opportunity you cannot miss.
For More Information : www.globalbuyersellermeet.com
This story is provided by PNN. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/PNN)

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Get ready to chill this long weekend at Phoenix Marketcity, Pune

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Pune (Maharashtra) [India], January 23 (ANI/NewsVoir): The much awaited long -weekender is almost here starting from January 23rd, which gives you ample amount of time to unwind and enjoy the best leisure and entertainment activities at Phoenix Marketcity, Pune.
One of the highlights is the ‘The Art Harvest’ – an assortment of fine cultural performances to pep up the weekend. With zest and patriotism mood Phoenix Marketcity, Pune is all ready for the Republic Day celebration, where you can enjoy the plump tunes of the Santoorist and the mellifluous fiddling by the Violinist on the best artsy music.
The mall is geared in full swing to ensure you have a wholesome time at, PVR, Funcity and Happy Planet which are now open.
The Haute Sale progresses into the last leg with up to 60 per cent off on 300 plus brands across the mall. Also, to keep things exciting, top shopper from the Electronics, Jewellery and Home Brands, customers can win prices worth up to Rs 50k. The perks don’t just end there, assured rewards on shopping Rs 5k and above from brands across the mall.
This long weekend also gives an opportunity to spend quality time with you friends and family. To ensure this, Phoenix Marketcity is offering special discounts on various beverages and specially curated mocktails available at all restaurants from 12 to 10 pm, this will not only quench your thirst but also lift up your mood and get indulged in an array of FnB options with 40 plus food court and fine-dine options.
So Punekars get ready for happy hour sessions with your dear ones and loosen up a bit to enjoy this long week at Phoenix Marketcity, Pune.
This Republic Day, Phoenix Marketcity Pune vows to ensure you experience #TheGoodLife.
Date: January 22nd to January 26th, 2021.
SM Post
The big weekend chill is here. Get rewarded on your shopping, savour your favourite sips and bites or get into the spirit of oneness with classical performances at Phoenix Marketcity, Pune and make the most of your weekend. See you there, Pune!
This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

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Tring offers ‘SabKuch50PercentOff’ to add more fizz to the festive celebrations

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], January 23 (ANI/NewsVoir): The festive season continues to get better and better. With the upcoming Republic Day celebrations around the country, the mood is upbeat and positive.
Dotting the festivities around with a very special touch is Tring – India’s Largest Celebrity Engagement Platform – who is going all out to make it unbelievably crazy for fans and admirers of film and tv stars, international artistes and regional stars, musicians and models as well. With their never before offer of ‘SabKuch50%Off’ – for the next 4 days beginning 23 January, 2021.
You could pinch yourself again. It is the kind of moment that gives so many people across the country, to have their personal messages said or expressed by a celebrity, made possible via tring. The message is delivered through personalised video, live video calls or even with Direct Messages on Social Media. The shocking 50 per cent Off on all Celebrities with no term and conditions asked – is quite LIT as they say!
Getting a chance to speak with celebrities has been almost close to impossible, but tring has bridged this gap with its service platform. In under a year, tring has reached an industry landmark of 3000+ celebrities, giving every fan the opportunity to reach and engage with their favourite celebrities!
You could ‘book a tring’ with ease through the website and get to choose from across categories like Movie Stars, TV Stars, Comedians, Musicians, Models, Influencers and many more. Celebrities have enjoyed executing requests on behalf of fans – requests that range from birthday wishes, wedding wishes and proposals to pranking best friends, surprising your mother or even asking for the money loaned. Truly, when there is an opportunity like ‘SabKuch50%Off’, fans would surely be thinking of many more moments and reasons to have the celebrities deliver these messages.
Tring has been leading the celebrity shoutout space and over the last one year has used the platform for various initiatives as well – a ‘WarAgainstCOVID’ campaign to deliver PPE kits to number of hospitals to the Xmas Wishlist that seen Saina Nehwal deliver a special message to another inspirational woman.
So what are you waiting for? Go right ahead and give your message a personalised touch with a celebrity of your choice at 50 per cent Off only on www.tring.co.in.
This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

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MahaDAO’s ARTH goes live in India; over 5000 investors foresee a solution to currency depreciation

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Mumbai, Maharashtra [India], January 23 (ANI/NewsVoir): MahaDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) governed by its users, the MAHA community, are officially launching the first epoch for ARTH, the world’s first non – depreciating currency.
The currency has been designed to improve existing fiat price-pegged stablecoins, that continually need to keep up with the money printing and upon elastic stablecoin protocols, which spend virtually all their time in the contraction phases.
ARTH also has the additional benefit of incentivizing DeFi users to pool assets and earn inflationary rewards. ARTH will be available for Indian investors at 3.30 PM GMT today at www.arthcoin.com. The guidebook for accessing and navigating ARTH is available at: docs.arthcoin.com.
“India is one of the key emerging markets for cryptocurrencies and we see a huge potential and intrigue among Indian crypto investors. The cryptocurrency segment is becoming more favoured in the subcontinent and ARTH is a valuecoin that will ensure wealth stability and subsequent creation for investors,” said Pranay Sanghavi, Co-founder & Chief Business Officer, at MahaDAO, speaking about the availability of ARTH coin for Indian investors.
“ARTH valuecoin uses smart contracts to fulfill the token trades at a stable price. This ‘elastic’ supply mechanism has been designed for ARTH to either stimulate the contraction or expansion of the token supply, similar to how central banks control the supply of fiat currencies,” he further added.
Unlike other stablecoins which are backed by the US dollar, the ARTH valuecoin is backed by a basket of uncorrelated assets in the ARTH vault and maintains (and even appreciates) its purchasing power regardless of wider market movements. The mechanism of the protocol is built to initiate an automatic rebalancing logic; keeping the net buying power of the coin stable.
The ARTH value coin is pegged to an index of several assets some of them are traditional, well known financial assets and some are new age, digital financial assets such as:
* 80 per cent Global Fiat Currencies
* 15 per cent Gold
* 5 per cent Bitcoin
Hence, if fiat goes down; gold and BTC goes up and if BTC and goes down; fiat goes up. As a result, it is value stable. Over time, there is unlimited capacity to add new assets to the basket. ARTH will try and retain a peg to the GMU through a complex system of bonds that can be redeemed or bought when the peg is thrown off.
With the value of bitcoin jumping to USD 40,000 in 2021, the current cryptocurrency market capitalisation is pegged at USD 673 bn. This has led to the rise of a number of crypto exchanges across the world and in India. But since March 2020 when there was a global boom, there was a 12% jump in the number of trades that took place in India. The total value locked globally in DeFi has jumped from under USD 1 bn in March 2020 to over USD 22 bn today.
“India being one of biggest millennial investors in crypto assets will add ARTH a great value to the crypto ecosystem by increasing pace and growth in the Indian economy,” Sanghavi concluded, with the surge in such market growth for cryptocurrency.
MahaDAO generates and governs ARTH, a decentralized algorithmic currency that aims to fight depreciation. No matter which direction the market moves, users of ARTH never lose their buying power. ARTH offers people a new way: financial freedom with no volatility. It’s a first-of-it’s-kind value-stable currency that you can control. ARTH translates to wealth creation, one of the foremost goals of human life.
The currency is managed by no single entity or person, but by a community. MAHA is a governance token that empowers it’s holders to vote on the savings rates, stability fees, direction, strategy and the future course of action for ARTH. By decentralising decision making in such a way, this currency is completely democratic, putting the power back in people’s hands and paving the way for a fair monetary system.
This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

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Aviation sector enters rough patch

Local air travel in India is likely to crash from 14 crore domestic passengers in 2019-20 to around 8-9 crore in the next financial year, says a recent report. A coordinated government and industry action is needed if the catastrophe is to be avoided.

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With over 70% of the world’s fleet of 24,000 active commercial aircraft in mothballs, it is going to be a heartbreakingly costly effort to get them back in the air. Worse, each passing day only piles on more pressure and makes grounded aircraft less airworthy.

On this bleak canvas painting any scenario is predicated to the passenger mind-set and the thorough brainwashing these past few weeks that has been globally given to the potential flier that getting on a plane is not safe for Covid-19. While at-
tractive ticket costs and piled on privileges might ginger up some enthusiasm, it is not going to be easy.

In the interim as the industry trims its overheads, aircraft and carriers alike are inclined to lie down. It is a fact that half the world’s airlines in most regions only
have two to three months of cash to cover their operations. According to IATA bankruptcy has a hideous grin of anticipation writ large on its face. Granted, there is a wide variation in the fiscal strength of carriers.

The best airlines generate more profits and have stronger balance sheets than they did in the crisis of 2008, but by the same token the rest are the financial walking wounded and pull the industry back. We speak of a coordinated government and industry action that is needed — and needed now — if the catastrophe is to be avoided or at least softened in its impact. Surviving is not enough. Compromising service and safety and cutting corners are all potential recipes for disaster.

Just saying that the ATM (Air Transport Management) community needs to work together to strategies how the airline industry will restart again is also not enough. While it cannot take government fiscal injections for granted, seeking soft loans will be on the cards. Private equity will also have to be considered. It is a cruel fact but downsizing fleet and staff and even airports and assets will be necessary. There is also an official attitude issue.

Each time there is a new government recommendation it is to discourage flying. Demand is drying up in ways that are completely unprecedented. Normality is not yet on the horizon. And even when the ban is lifted there could be new protocols that could make ticketing prohibitively expensive — paramount among them the safe distancing dictate that could make the load factor a parody.

The magnitude of the unfolding trauma for India’s airlines is far too severe to ignore. The “Covid-19 & the State of the Indian Aviation Industry” report, released by Capa India recently, reveals that local air travel in the country will likely crash from 14 crore domestic passengers in 2019-20 to around 8-9 crore in the next financial year (2020-21). A not so generous calculation would see the need for $2.6 billion just to jumpstart the industry in India. At least 200 of the 670-odd aircraft in the Indian commercial skies will be technically axed as schedules are truncated.

The Capa India report had some more dire predictions to make and it is necessary to confront them rather than wish them away. The most significant ones among them include:
(A) The Indian aviation sector is likely to shrink significantly, even if some of the vulnerable airlines manage to survive. The trick lies in knowing if Indian aviation has any sugar daddies who will invest in the sector knowing profit is a long time coming. An absence of liquidity is a major issue.

Ironically, IATA chief economist Brian Pierce made a projection that now sounds like a travesty: Moreover, as the world’s largest democracy with a population of more than 1.3 billion citizens, India’s potential for further growth and industry development is very clear. Indeed, we expect air passenger numbers to, from and within India, increase by 3.3-times over the next 20 years, to more than 500 million passenger journeys per year.

This significant expansion is expected to be underpinned by a trebling in the proportion of middle-class households and further increases in time-saving options for air passengers. This highlights the important role aviation can play in connecting the country — both internally and with the rest of the world.

This strong growth outlook for air passenger demand will see India overtake Germany, Japan, Spain, and the UK within the next 10 years to become the world’s third-largest air passenger market. These are exciting times for the air transport industry in India. With international traffic expected to fall from approximately 70 million in FY 2020 to 35-40 million in FY 2021, and possibly lower depending on several factors, India will lose at least 30% of its 160 million passengers, if not more.

Capa India has cautiously added that these were only initial estimates and that these would be revised as the situation becomes clearer. Consumer sentiment jolted by the virus outbreak, government curbs on air travel, and uncertainty over when they would be relaxed will severely hit airlines and allied industries. Domestic air passenger traffic is expected to drop from an estimated 140 million in FY20 to around 80-90 million in FY21.

International traffic is expected to almost halve from around 70 million in FY20 to 35-40 million in FY21, Capa India said in the report. “Indian carriers will require a domestic fleet of around 300- 325 aircraft from October 2020 onwards, and an international fleet of 100-125 aircraft,” the report said. So much for the double-digit growth.

Bigger players like Vistara, SpiceJet, Air India, GoAir, and IndiGo are staring at deteriorating balance sheets. As per the recent report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Covid-19 crisis is expected to impact over
29 lakh (2,932,900 to be precise) jobs in India’s aviation sector.

That is a very large chunk of talent, expertise, and experience and will call for multi-tasking, something no airline likes to engage in. The negative impact if the ban is lifted in June on airlines’ revenue would be $11.221 billion and that is not small change. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released its latest forecast.

It predicts that half of all airline business will disappear this year, with full-year passenger revenues falling 55 per cent compared with 2019, with traffic falling 48 per cent. CEO Alexandre de Juniac summed it up as “catastrophic”.
Emphasising the effect on the wider economy, de Juniac said: “If airlines lose one job, another 24 disappear somewhere in the value chain. That was behind our analysis last week when we said that some 25 million jobs are at risk”.

India won’t allow commercial flights to operate until it is confident that the coronavirus outbreak is under control, Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri said recently. The country’s cash-strapped airlines can only stand and wait
to serve.

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