Food stocks are trading mixed with Wadala Commodities and Sterling Biotech being among major gainers whereas Ruchi Soya and Golden Tobacco are the biggest losers. As per a leading financial daily, ITC has acquired Bangalore-based natural juice brand, Balan Natural Foods for Rs 1 bn. While retaining the B Natural Brand for the time being, the company has plans of launching the new segment in September 2014. This is ITC's first major acquisition since it entered the food segment in 2001. The branded juice market in India is valued at Rs 10 bn. The market is dominated by Dabur India that has a 54% market share through its Real fruit juice brand followed by Pepsico India's Tropicana juices with a 25-30% market share. ITC's foray into the juice segment will further widen its non-cigarette FMCG business. This segment has turned in the black in FY14. ITC stock is trading up 0.3%.
Energy sector stocks are trading mixed with Petronet LNG and ONGC trading firm whereas Chennai Petroleum is trading weak. As per a leading business daily, India's state owned oil marketer BPCL has signed a 4 month naphtha contract with Unipec, a Chinese trading house. This is a first such deal among the two players. Currently, BPCL already has two shorter term naphtha contracts with a Japanese firm but the company has to export the cargo out of Mumbai itself. In the latest deal, the Chinese firm would lift the cargo each month from the Kochi port during the period July-October 2014. The deal is contracted for a monthly cargo capacity of 35,000 tonnes. BPCL finalized the deal at about US$ 1 per tonne premium to its own FOB (free on board) pricing formula. BPCL is trading up by 1.4% today.