Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

COMMODITY EXCHANGES' TURNOVER EXCEEDS BGN100MN IN FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 2003

The turnover on the three licensed commodity exchanges - in Sofia, Plovdiv and Rousse - exceeded BGN100MN in the first six months of 2003. This is a record high performance since exchange trade was resumed in Bulgaria and is a result of the application of the amendments to the Public Procurement Act, passed in May 2002.
Trade in grain was most active during the first quarter of 2003, when the State Reserve put up for sale some of its quantities in the Grain stock in order to refund to the budget the money, extended last year. Two of the commodity exchanges - those in Sofia and Rousse - played actively in that trade and registered the greatest number of deals accordingly. In the same period on the Plovdiv Commodity Exchange the profitable offers were the purchase bids of regional electricity distribution companies, which accounted for over 85% of its turnover. Trade in other staple foods - sugar, flour and salt - was sluggish.During the second quarter of 2003 the turnover on commodity exchnages almost doubled due to the increased offers and deals under the Public Procurement Act. Trade in grain stopped because of the Government's fear of a poor crop. Thus, a single deal in milling wheat, worth BGN2MN-plus, was registered on the Sofia Commodity Exchange in the April-May period. Deals in staple foods - sugar, coffee and flour - were effected in May and June, but their volume was insignificant. On the other hand, Bulgarian Posts and the Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) in Sofia and some of the heat distribution and water and sewage utilities in Plovdiv became active participants in the exchange trade under the Public Procurement Act. As could be expected, trade in construction materials, most of them imported from Ukraine and Russia, picked up in Rousse.Brokers are unanimous that if these rates of trade are maintained the aggregate turnover on the local commodity exchanges could approximate BGN180MN. Trade in grain (that will be probably quite nervous due to the expected poor 2003 crop and the possible Government's measures to restrict export) will have a significant impact on the total turnover. The purchase bids for materials on the part of most electricity distribution companies (which have been major players so far) are expected to decline in July and August. Sofia Commodity Exchange The performance of the commodity exchange in the capital city is really impressive - its turnover exceeded BGN78MN within the first six months of the year. Deals under the Public Procurement Act have the largest share in the trade, followed by deals in grain and construction materials. Most of the big state-run companies which buy materials from the exchange, have their own brokers there. Heightened demand for uniform and working clothes has been registered over the last two months. Several significant deals brought to the exchnage some of the biggest local tailors of that kind of clothes.
In addition to the traditional bids on the part of electricity distribution companies, offers for unusual goods have become more frequent lately. In May, for example, rubber transporting belts were demanded. Foods, traded under the Public Procurement Act, are also a novelty. The total volume of deals in them amounted to BGN420,000.Plovdiv Commodity Exchange In the second biggest Bulgarian city exchange trade was mostly due to the local branches of big state-run companies, operating in compliance with the Public Procurement Act. Electricity distribution companies and branches of water and sewage utilities have been particularly active. Trade in grain is traditionally weaker in Plovdiv, but there are always sufficient and different (in both prices and terms) selling offers for vegetable oil and flour. Office equipment - tables, desks, racks and computer equipment - became a hit in the exchange trade in June. Like in Sofia, sale deals for new cars were closed in Plovdiv, too. However, trade in electric fittings is the strong point of the Plovdiv Commodity Exchange. Transformers alone were offered on that market under 80 positions. In May brokers in Plovdiv put up for sale almost the entire output of the battery manufacturer Monbat.Rousse Commodity Exchange Despite the tendency to specialize in trade in grain due to its proximity to the biggest grain-growing region in the country, the exchange in Rousse does not neglect the opportunities for participation in deals under the amended Public Procurement Act. In June, seamless pipes and electric fittings were actively traded on the exchange in Rousse, accounting for a turnover of BGN250,000-plus. Brokers now expect trade in wheat to stir up and turnover from agriclutural goods to increase. Selling offers for re-bars and angles, mainly imported, are still traditional for that commodity exchange. In the last week of June purchase bids for foods worth more than BGN80,000 were placed under the Public Procurement Act. Turnover on the Sofia Commodity Exchange in BGNMonth Foods Grain Non-foodsJanuary 0 1,760,000 3,426,356February 0 8,860,000 1,998,227March 0 1,724,950 6,794,819April 0 2,180,000 10,853,783May 420,000 0 15,586,357June 19,364 0 24,404,739

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