Multi-commodity exchange to open by September

Monday, 30 June 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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PATNA: India's rural economy is set for massive changes in the near future with a multi-commodity exchange eyeing to directly link markets of all commodities to benefit farmers as well as traders.

Mumbai-based Multi-Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. (MCX), an independent exchange, plans to bring major changes in marketing of commodities in India by introducing a platform for traders and poor farmers to save their interests.

"MCX will act as a catalyst to ensure future prices of commodities directly benefit farmers, traders, exporters and larger industrial consumers of agri-commodities," Joseph Massey, deputy managing director of MCX, told IANS.

Till date commodity trading has been done in about 7,500 small markets and over 30 major markets across India in an organised way. MCX is expected to provide an opportunity for the farmers to decide their future plans in advance through it.

It will initiate online trading initially in key commodity segments covering around 12-15 base commodities, including bullion, oils and oilseeds, grains and pulses and soft commodities like cotton, sugar and spices and plantation.

It will extend the trading list to make the offering more comprehensive. MCX is confident to make a difference in the agriculture sector. Massey termed the MCX move a silent revolution in making in agriculture sector in India.

"It will change the cropping pattern of the country because farmers will know in advance what crop to grow according to the prices index of future in advance through us," he said.

He said by September MCX will start live trading of commodities.

"We have already started a drive to appoint intermediaries from the existing commodity exchanges, securities exchanges and other sections of trade and industry at the national level that will get over by next month," he said.

MCX has completed its membership drive in seven cities, including New Delhi, Kolkata and Patna. It plans to launch a drive in 15 more cities.

Massey said MCX would help farmers to organise themselves as cooperatives and decide the market prices of their commodities.

"It is going to benefit India's 70 percent population because it will come as a boon for the agriculture sector."

He said MCX was geared to provide nationwide access for multi-commodities through an advanced, cost efficient automated platform.

MCX has tied up with HDFC Bank and IndusInd Bank for electronic fund transfer facilitating seamless settlement, connecting 100 cities through 250 branches across India.

At present, there are 20 commodity exchanges operational in the country, each concentrating on only one or two products and with localised trade set ups, like cotton exchange, soy exchange and jute exchange.

Massey said MCX was also looking to involve non-resident Indians to venture into the commodity business.
Source: IANS
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