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US fracking slump threatens Indian guar industry

Orders for guar gum drying up as US oil-and-gas companies cut investments following oil price plunge

Published Tue, Feb 10, 2015 · 09:50 PM
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New Delhi

A BIG bet on the US fracking boom is coming back to haunt India's guar industry.

Orders for guar gum - used to extract shale oil and gas - are drying up as US companies cut investments following the plunge in crude oil prices. For Vikas WSP Ltd, India's second- largest exporter, that's meant idling 40 per cent of its 140,000 tonne capacity - a sign of industry stress.

"It's going to be very difficult for the guar industry to survive the current crisis," Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan-based Vikas's managing director BD Agarwal said in a phone interview on Jan 28. "The situation is very bad. We neither have control over it, nor can we predict what's in store."

Demand for guar gum has roughly halved, forcing some factories in …

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