Prices of chana (Bengal gram) have eased a tad during March compared with the previous month. Factors such as the Government’s move to make available Bharat dal at ₹60 a kg, increase in imports of yellow peas and market arrivals of the new chana crop have contributed to the easing prices, sources said.

Per the Agmarknet data, the average mandi prices have eased almost across all producing States this month. In several mandis of Madhya Pradesh such as Harda and Ganjbasoda, the modal price (the rate at which most trades take place) of chana hovered around or below the minimum support price (MSP) levels on Tuesday. Similarly, in mandis of Rajasthan such as Bundi and Kota, the modal price of chana ruled below the MSP on Tuesday. The MSP for chana for the 2024-25 rabi marketing season is ₹5,440 per quintal.

Slack demand

“The chana prices are stable and ruling below the MSP in some mandis and hovering around MSP in some mandis. The demand for chana has been slack. The market arrivals of chana are expected to pick up after Holi. We expect large quantity arrivals in the days ahead and ee no room for prices to go up. Also, lot of imports of yellow peas is happening,” said Bimal Kothari, Chairman, India Pulses and Grains Association.

The Government has extended the window for duty-free imports of yellow peas by a month till April. “From December 8, 2023, when the yellow pea imports were opened up, till April 30, we expect yellow pea imports of around 1.5 million tonnes,” Kothari said.

Expected imports

Rahul Chauhan of Igrain India said the expected imports of yellow peas till end-February were around 5.87 lakh tonnes (lt). About 1.68 lt were imported till January-end and expected imports during February was 4.18 lt. Bulk of the yellow pea imports into the country are from Russia and Canada. Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Turkey are other countries from where the yellow pea imports are taking place.

Besides the yellow pea imports, the steps taken by the Government to make available the chana dal in the retail market and increase in market arrivals is contributing to the easing price trend, Chauhan said.

Per the second advance estimates released by the government last month, the production of chana is seen at 121.61 lt for the 2023-24 rabi season.