Jain Irrigation Falls in India as Rupee Weighs on Results

Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd., India’s biggest irrigation-equipment maker, fell 7.8 percent in Mumbai as a weaker rupee contributed to wider losses.

“Foreign exchange is a challenging and burning issue,” Managing Director Anil Jain said today on a conference call. The company is optimistic that exports and demand from farmers for water-conserving irrigation equipment will contribute to a turnaround, he told analysts.

Farming accounts for about 90 percent of water withdrawals in India, the second-most populous nation after China. India’s irrigated acreage has almost tripled since 1950.

“Our products and services have enough global interest,” Jain said. “With the good monsoon, we continue to expect continued good demand in the micro-irrigation and food businesses.”

Group losses widened in the first quarter that ended June 30 to 603 million rupees ($9.8 million) from 487 million rupees a year earlier, the company announced Aug. 14. It was the first time that Jain Irrigation reported consolidated results.

The shares of Jalgaon-based Jain closed at 50.05 rupees today, increasing losses over the past year to 37 percent. The drop occurred as the rupee weakened as much as 0.9 percent to 62.005 per dollar, an all-time low.

The rupee, the worst performer among 11 of Asia’s most-traded currencies, has depreciated 11 percent this year. That increased Jain Irrigation’s liabilities relating to about $20 million of foreign-denominated long-term loans, Jain said.

An early monsoon has helped relieve a drought and boosted demand from farmers for irrigation pipes last quarter, Jain said. Exports of micro-irrigation equipment more than doubled.

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