Paper stocks are trading in the red with Ballarpur Industries Ltd (BILT) and Tamil Nadu Newsprint being the biggest losers. As per a leading financial daily, large paper companies are importing wood chips and logs to tide over the sharp jump in domestic pulp wood prices. ITC, West Coast paper, J K Paper and BILT are the companies that have resorted to imports to meet their needs. Reportedly wood pulp prices have nearly doubled to over Rs 5,000 a tonne over the last five years. As per Indian Paper Mills Association, paper mills have increased pulp wood plantation by over 5 lakh hectares with the support of farmers. However, rising demand has outpaced supply and even rising price of agricultural commodities has led to crop diversion by farmers.
Barring Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India Ltd. (MMTC), all the mining stocks are trading in the red with Ashapura Minechem and Sesa Goa being the biggest losers. As per the financial daily, workers of Coal India (CIL) are expected to go on strike in September to protest against the government's disinvestment decision. Reportedly, talks between CIL workers and the government failed even after the government has offered to reduce disinvestment in the company to 5% from 10%, earlier proposed. CIL reported a 0.2% fall in sales in June 2013 quarter on account of a mere 0.4% rise in production. CIL's net margin contracted by 4.5% to 22.6% due to higher operating expenses. The company is already grappling with lower production. To add to this, it has signed Fuel Supply Agreements (FSA) for assured coal supply to its customers. The strike by workers is likely to further compound problems and adversely impact its financials. CIL stock is currently trading down by 2.5%.