Agri Business

Off-season rains boost chana’s prospects

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru | Updated on February 18, 2021

The Agriculture Ministry expects the crop to be about 11.5 mt for 2020-21 season   -  istock.com/AnthiaCumming

Prices see an uptick in futures; trade rules out crop loss fears

Chana is set to see a pick up in demand even as tur is witnessing a rally on reports of a lower crop. Also factors such as unseasonal rains and hailstorms lashing part of Eastern Madhya Pradesh are affecting the ready-to-harvest crop, although trade sources said the impact could be limited in some regions.

The Agriculture Ministry expects the chana crop to be about 11.5 million tonnes (mt) for 2020-21 season (July-June). However, millers estimate the crop to be between nine mt and 9.5 mt, marginally lower than last year’s 9.5 mt.

The uptick in demand has resulted in an upward trend in chana futures. On NCDEX, the March contract ended 0.8 per cent higher at Rs 4,723 a quintal, while the May contract gained 1.6 per cent to close at ₹4,714 on Wednesday. In the spot market, chana prices hovered between ₹4,400 and ₹4,800 per quintal in various markets across the country, trending lower than the MSP of ₹5,100.

“There will be some impact of the hailstorms and rains in the Bhopal, Jabalpur and other parts of MP, but the losses may not be significant on the overall crop size. The losses will be localised in the areas, which are witnessing hailstorms and could be in the region of 2-4 per cent,” said Suresh Agrawal, Chairman, All India Dal Mills Association in Indore. “As the new crop from Rajasthan and MP will hit the market next month, we expect the prices to hover around MSP levels,” Agrawal said.

Crop size good

Referring to the uptrend in the futures, Agrawal said it could be due to speculation and does not reflect the ground situation. “We hear the crop is good in Rajasthan and in some areas of Gujarat such as Porbandar and Junagadh there’s an increase in output,” Agrawal said.

Agriculture Commissioner SK Malhotra, addressing the Indian Pulses and Grains Association’s annual event last week, said the chana crop size was about 11.5 mt this year on increase in area. Gram acreage is seen higher at 112 lakh ha, about 4.5 lakh ha more than last year. Production is estimated at 11.5 mt for 2020-21 — higher than 11.35 mt as per the fourth estimates.

Bimal Kothari, Vice-Chairman of IPGA, said a clearer picture on the crop size would emerge by March-end when the harvest at Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan is over. Further Kothari said chana would see a demand as other pulses such as tur and urad are on the rise. Chana is the cheapest among the pulses and that the curbs on the imports of yellow peas is also contributing to its increased demand.

Nafed to procure

Meanwhile, the arrivals of the new crop has started in Karnataka and parts of Maharashtra.

In Karnataka, the new crop is fetching a price lower than the MSP of ₹5,100 per quintal. Modal prices are ranging between ₹4,400 and ₹4,700 per quintal in various markets such as Kalaburgi, Raichur and Bidar among others.

Nafed tweeted that Agriculture Ministry has sanctioned procurement of 6.17 lakh tonnes of chana under the price support scheme in Maharashtra for Rabi 2020-21. For Karnataka, the sanctioned procurement quantity is 1.67 lakh tonnes and the Sstate has set a quantity of 4 quintals per acre and maximum limit of 15 quintals per farmer. The registration process will go on till April 29 and the procurement will go on till May 14 in Karnataka.

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Published on February 17, 2021
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