There is demand in Europe, USA and China, where it is used by the food industry as a gelling and thickening agent in ice cream, chocolate, pasta and jams among others, traders said.
However, demand from the oil rig companies which use guar gum to extract oil has dropped. This, they say may rise if global oil drilling activity increases.
“Overall exports in the current financial year may not cross last year’s figure of 363,809 tonnes,” said Purushottam Hisaria, president, Guar Gum Manufacturers’ Association. In 2018-19, the exports were 513,218 tonne and valued at Rs 4,707 crore.
Girish Soni, director at Shree Ram Gum & Chemicals said that once the factories opened in mid-April, orders for food grade rose sharply. “Shipments of the previous months had to be sent. Apart from it, buyers in Europe and China bought 4 months’ stock in advance. In May-June the sales increased by 15% and we expect the momentum can continue,” he said
The demand by the food processing sector for the season can increase by 10%, said Girdhari Lal Sarda of Sarda Gums and Chemicals.
Ravinder Kedia, director of Jai Bharat Gum & Chemicals, said demand in the oil industry had fallen, but may pick up by September.