Outlook on Kharif season, muted credit demand, and an illusive COVID-19 vaccine: Three things Teji Mandi investors should know on May 26, 2021
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Bumper Kharif Season on the Way

India's foodgrain production is projected to scale a new high of 305.43 million tonnes in the current crop year 2020-21. It will be 2.66% higher than the last year, which stood at a record 297.5 million tonnes.

The agriculture ministry has pegged rice production at a record 121.46 mn tn vs 118.87 mn tn last year. Wheat production could beat the previous high of 107.86 mn tn production last year. It could grow marginally to a record 108.75 mn tn this year. Pulses output is estimated to jump to 25.56 mn tn from 23.03 mn tn in the previous crop year.

India is entering its latest Kharif season on the back of the forecast of a normal monsoon season. It augurs well for agriculture. India's agriculture production has been consistently making new highs for the last few years. And as per these estimates, the trend is likely to continue even in the new crop year.

Credit Demand Needs a Boost

RBI governor Shaktikanta Das wants private banks to increase lending to retail and business borrowers.

The governor also commented on the lack of implementation of the new restructuring package announced by the RBI. It includes utilisation of Rs 50,000 crore allocated to improve health infrastructure, resolution facility to provide relief on COVID-related stress, and easy overdraft facility for state governments.

RBI and the government have their limits in providing one stimulus after another. Hence, boosting credit growth is paramount to help businesses to find a way to get up on their own.

Credit growth touched a record low of 5.6% in the financial year 2021 as banks have remained risk-averse due to COVID-19 related uncertainties. The corporates, on the other hand, have opted for deleveraging after the recent hiccups. Hence, the credit growth has been way off the radar.

Stretched Negotiations

Pfizer's vaccine continues to remain elusive for the Indian public as the government is yet to crack the deal with the global pharma giant.

As per the available reports, the company is expecting a firm pre-order along with advance payment from India. The company is also discussing an indemnity clause, which is further delaying the deal. As per this condition, the company will be immune from any court proceedings if any side effects arise after taking its vaccine.

India has already delayed the process of securing enough vaccine jabs from the global market. And any further delay will continue to hurt the country. Pfizer has already indicated that its order book is full. And there is a very minute chance of receiving vaccines immediately even if the deal is signed on a priority basis.

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