Saturday, April 18, 2020

Ensure strict compliance of lockdown

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the extension of nationwide lockdown till 3rd May to contain the spread of Covid-19. The Centre in its revised guidelines has allowed certain relaxations in the notified services from 20th April in areas without Hotspots. A series of directives have been put in place to ensure a strict compliance of lockdown.

The Ministry of Home Affairs came out with some guidelines about what activities have been allowed and what will remain restricted. The ministry added that State and union territory governments shall not dilute lockdown guidelines in any manner, but they may impose stricter measures as per local requirements. The exemptions given will not be applicable to the hotspots. Now, wearing a mask will be mandatory across the nation.

The front-month contract in West Texas Intermediate, the New York-traded benchmark for U.S. oil, plunged to as low as $17.31 per barrel on 17th April, marking a bottom since 2001, as it headed for delivery. The contract settled at $18.27, down 8% on the day and 18.5% on the week. While Brent, the London-traded global benchmark for crude, performed better than US crude on Friday. Brent’s front-month, which has already moved to June, settled at $28.08 per barrel, up almost 1% on the day and 11.5% on the week.

There were no transactions for benchmark RSS4 grade rubber at Kottayam due to lockdown, while RSS3 grade closed at `.104.46 a kg at Bangkok and Malaysian SMR20 closed at `.86.38 a kg. On ICEX May 2020 futures closed at `.109.87 a kg, June at `.110.36, July at `.114.64, August at `.115.78, September at `.118.14 and October closed at `.119.32 a kg. Tokyo Commodity Exchange April 2020 futures series closed at ¥143.5 a kg, May at ¥142.9, June at ¥145.5, July at ¥149.3, August at ¥151.2 and the contract for delivery in September 2020 closed at ¥153.9 a kg.

To read Rubber4U – 1st May 2020 issue: