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Data recap: Bids for lithium, house prices


Every Friday, Plain Facts publishes a compilation of data-based insights, complete with easy-to-read charts, to help you delve deeper into the stories reported by Mint in the week gone by. Following the discovery of lithium reserves in Jammu and Kashmir, India is likely to invite bids for the auction as early as June. Meanwhile, housing prices are offering optimism in the real estate market.

Lithium Bid

The government may invite bids for the auction of the newly discovered lithium reserves in Jammu as early as the June quarter, Mint reported. Earlier this month, the Geological Survey of India reported 5.9 million tonnes of lithium reserves in Reasi district, which will make India the world’s seventh largest holder of the mineral that helps power mobile phones and electric vehicles among others. China is currently the market leader and controls 75% of the world’s lithium refining.

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Cotton’s Cost

India’s import bill of cotton surged 200% year-on-year in 2022-23 until January to cross the $1-billion mark due to rising prices amid global shortage. This is the second time in the past five years when cotton imports surpassed the $1-billion mark. The issue was highlighted in the Economic Survey, which raised concerns over stagnant domestic production, high prices, and high inflation for clothing and footwear. However, India remains a net exporter of cotton.

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EV Supply

That’s the number of electric cars Tata Motors has agreed to supply to Uber’s fleet network partners. Supply of X-Pres-T sedans will be the largest supply of EVs and will be done over 12-15 months. Several ride-sharing platforms are looking to have low-emission vehicles on their platforms and Uber has committed to offer its rides solely through EVs worldwide by 2040. Tata Motors’ supply will be bigger than Uber’s 10,000-car deal with BluSmart last year.

Housing Boom

Aided by robust demand and higher input prices, house prices have risen remarkably in 2022. While the cost of construction has gone up, robust demand in the housing market is likely to aid the real-estate industry. Among the metro cities, the National Capital Region (NCR) saw the highest price rise in 2022 from the previous year, followed by Kolkata and Hyderabad. The prices are expected to rise by 5-10% on average in the current year.

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Mint

Optimism Gap

With normalcy returning after 2 years, earnings outlook of Indians improved. As many as 69% of the respondents in YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey expect their earnings to rise this year, up from 50% in late 2020 and 64% in late 2021. While this optimism cuts across ages, there were inequities based on income, age and gender. Nearly a fourth of those earning below 20,000 a month feared a pay cut or an unchanged income. Women were also less optimistic than men.

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Mint

Travelling Abroad

That’s the monthly average spending by Indians on tours abroad, PTI reported. In April-December 2022, outward remittances towards travel was $9.95 billion, nearly double that of two previous years. Vietnam, Thailand, Europe and Indonesia are some of the major destinations Indians prefer. However, the budget proposal for a hike in rate of tax collection at source on overseas tour packages to 20% from 5% currently may affect the trend.

Hotel Recovery

India’s hotel industry suffered significantly due to the covid-19 pandemic but are now showing recovery with the revival of travel and in-person meetings. Average daily rates of rooms jumped by a third between July 2022 and December 2022, according to hospitality consultancy HVS Anarock, while occupancy rate reached nearly 70% in December. Since the hotel business is closely linked with the travel business, the rising trend in air and rail travel bodes well for the industry.

Mint

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Mint

Chart of the Week: Flying High

With Air India ordering 470 new planes from Airbus and Boeing, India has now become the second largest country after the US in terms of aircraft orders since January 2021. Much of the 542 new planes Indian airlines have sought in this period are concentrated in the new Air India order.

Mint

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