Guar Gum

 
 
Introduction
 
Guar gum, also called guaran, is a galactomannan. It is primarily the ground endosperm of guar beans. The guar seeds are dehusked, milled and screened to obtain the guar gum. It is typically produced as a free-flowing, pale, off-white colored, coarse to fine ground powder.

Guar was used as a protein rich cattle feed. In India, the tender green Guar is also used as a vegetable and cattle feed. A severe locust bean gum shortage, just after the Second World War, adversely affected the paper and textile industries.

Guar Gum was found to be the most suitable substitute for scarce locust bean gum. The technology of Guar Gum extraction was commercialized in 1953 in the USA and after approximately a decade in India. The Guar seed consists of three parts: the germ, the endosperm, and the husk. It is from the endosperm that Guar Gum is derived.

Guar seed is grown as a kharif crop in India. The crop is generally sown after the monsoon rainfall in the second half of July to early August and is harvested in late October to early November. Excessive rain or humidity after maturity causes the beans to turn black and shrivel, reducing their quality and marketability. Guar Gum (Galactomanan) is a high molecular weight carbohydrate polymer made up of a large number of mannose and galactose unit linked together. The crude Guar Gum is a grayish white powder 90% of which dissolves in water.
 
Global Scenario
 
Indian dominates the production and trade in guar and its derivatives. The world’s total production of guar gum fluctuates around 2-2.5 lakh tonnes in a normal year. India is also the world leader in the exports of guar and its derivatives followed by Pakistan. Other major exporting countries are USA, Italy, Morocco, Spain, France, Greece, and Germany.

The consumption pattern of guar gum is largely influenced by the demands from food industry. The USA is the largest consumer with an annual consumption of 70,000 tonnes of guar & its derivatives. Germany & China account for about 24 per cent of global consumption together.

The major importing countries for guar and its derivatives are USA, China, Germany, Vietnam, Italy, Netherland and Malaysia. Guar gum exports during the 2009-10 were around 2.18 lakh tones. The exports are likely to touch 2.5 lakh tons in 2010-11.
 
Indian Scenario
 
The major guar growing areas in India are Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab. The share of Rajasthan is around 60%. In Rajasthan, Jodhpur; Sriganganagar; Hanumangarh; and Bikaner are major producing districts. According to the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the guar gum exports for 2009-10 stood around 2.18 lakh tons against 2.59 lakh tons previous year. Slowdown in Economic activity and less demand for crude amid higher crude products availability put guar gum exports lower. The yearly average of the ratio between the guar seed and the guar gum in 2010 is around 2.16. Jodhpur in the state of Rajasthan is the most ideal and important trading and processing centre of Guar Gum and contributes approximately 40% of the worlds' Guar Gum supply. Other major markets are Bikaner, Nokha & Deesa.
 
Important Factors to be Considered for Guar gum Trading
 
  • National & International demand for Guar Gum.
  • Changes in domestic production of Guar seed due to rainfall fluctuation.
  • Carryover stocks and demand supply mismatch.
  • Variation in demand of the importing countries.
  • Currency Exchange rate: A relatively strong USD is conducive for exports and vice versa.
  • Government policies: taxes/subsidies etc.