Guar is a crop of semi arid - sub tropical areas spread over the north and north west of India, and east and south east of Pakistan. It is grown in arid zones of Rajasthan, some parts of Gujarat, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh.
Guar, or clusterbean, (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba (L.) Taub) is the source of a natural hydrocolloid, which is cold water soluble, and forms thick solutions at low concentrations.
Guar seed consists of three parts: the seed coat (14-17%), the endosperm (35-42%), and the germ (43-47%). It is from the endosperm that the guar gum is derived. For instance, 100 kg of beans, minus their bean pods roughly yields 29 kg of endosperm; 29 kg of Guar powder.
Industrially it is used in mining, petroleum drilling and textile manufacturing. In food it is used as a thickener and as a means of preventing ice crystal formation in frozen desserts. The by products of guar processing, ‘Churi’ and ‘Korma’ are used as cattle feed. Green pods of guar are consumed as a vegetable.
India is the major producer of guar seed, followed by Pakistan and the US. India's guar seed production fluctuates between years, and has been around 10-17 lakh MT in the recent years. India's guar production in 2012-13, is estimated at around 17 - 20 lakh MT.
India accounts for 80% of the total guar produced in the world. 70% of India's production comes from Rajasthan. The other producers are Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Guar is a rain fed monsoon crop, which requires 8-15 inch of rain in 3 - 4 spells. It is sown immediately after first the showers say in July and harvested around November each year. The crop yield is directly related to the monsoon. It requires a relative long growing season of 20 - 25 weeks. The peak arrival months are from October - January.
Guar gum, a natural gum, is an edible thickening agent extracted from the guar bean.
India and Pakistan are the major exporters of guargum while the US, China, Australia and European nations are the major importers. The main demand of guar seed originates from the US petroleum industry and also the oil fields of the Middle East.
World market for guar gum in 2012 is estimated to be around 5 lakh MT, 70% of which is produced by India and Pakistan. India's guar gum exports touched a record 7.07 lakh MT in the FY 2011-12. However, it is estimated to have declined in the FY 2012-13 to 4.08 lakh MT.
Factors Influencing the Market
Its production is directly related to monsoon. In Rajasthan, the rainfall fluctuates between years. This results in high volatility in its production and consequently the prices.
The export demand for guar gum from petroleum drilling and food processing industries.
Inventories and gum stocks with importing countries and changes in the government policies such as taxes/subsidies have an effect on the prices.
Since most of the gum is exported and quoted in USD, any sharp movement in the currency has an impact.
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