Prices of steel, coal, cotton see new highs in 2021
   Date :31-Dec-2021

Business Bureau :
Even as the year 2021 failed to stand up to the expectations of the people as the pandemic continued its dominance throughout, there were many ups and downs in trade and industry. Initially, there were restrictions in the markets which squeezed the earnings of the traders, industrialists and their staff members. However, gradually things started falling in place and markets started buzzing once again. The period after Diwali was quite lively for the trade and industry that saw normalcy coming back on the track. Prices of many commodities and farm produce have witnessed significant fluctuations in the year. Steel, cement, coal, petrol and diesel, edible oil, pulses, soyabean and cotton among other commodities have seen ups and downs in their prices. Petrol and diesel prices in the city have registered all time highs on various occasions giving hardship to consumers.
Petrol price was at Rs 117.29 per litre while diesel at Rs 106.28 per litre on November 2. Although, the fuel prices trading above Rs 100 per litre mark gave tough times to the consumers, the Government brought down tax component in it and gave some respite to the consumers from the first week of November. As soon as the industrial activities across the world started resuming after a long lull, demand for coal jumped and the black diamond posted a 70 to 80 per cent price hike in just six months starting from April.
Thermal coal, which was trading at Rs 3,000 to Rs 3,500 per tonne at the beginning of the current year, had miraculously jumped to a level of Rs 5,000 to Rs 5,500 per tonne in September. Steel and cement prices have also seen new highs during the year. The steel TMT bar prices by primary producers had touched the Rs 59,000 per tonne (excluding 18% GST) mark in May which was about 10 per cent higher than the level prevailing in the month of February 2021. One of the most exciting things that will go long in the memories of the farmers, especially in Vidarbha, is the sharp rise in cotton prices.
The region that has earned the tag of ‘farmer suicide capital’ and where the farmers were often seen failing to recover even their cultivation costs sold raw cotton at an all time high of Rs 8,150 per quintal in October. The market price for the farm produce in the month of October was well above the minimum support price fixed by the Government. The edible oil prices have also gone beyond the reach of the common man in the year. Starting from April, the prices of soyabean, palm, groundnut and other varieties have recorded new highs.