Mumbai: Sebi late on Monday asked agro commodities trading bourse NCDEX to not launch any futures contracts on chana (gram/chickpea). What has raised eyebrows is that the directive, a three-liner, came on a Sebi holiday, and when there hasn’t been much divergence in the prices of chana in the past few months. Commodity market players said it is likely the directive came from the government and Sebi only issued the circular. “Only squaring up of position will be allowed. These directions will be implemented with immediate effect,” it said.
Commodity market players said, in the past few weeks, futures contracts on chana have been trading around the government-directed minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 5,100 per quintal for 2020-21. It’s yet to announce the MSP for chana (gram) for 2021-22. “It may be that the government will soon announce the MSP and, hence, moved ahead of time to keep speculation under control,” said a leading commodities trader.
If the futures price of a commodity is too low compared to the MSP, farmers stand to lose out. On the other hand, if the futures price is above the MSP, that raises the possibility of inflation.