Agri Business

Prices of pulses set to moderate as Centre relaxes stock limits

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on July 19, 2021

Will allow wholesale traders to stock up to 500 tonne but no particularly variety can be over 200 tonne


Prices of pulses are expected to moderate after the Centre relaxed the stock limit for traders and millers on Monday. The new limit, to be in force till October 31, will be applicable to tur (pigeon pea), urad (black matpe), gram (moong) and masur (lentils), an official statement said.

The new order, coming a fortnight after the Centre imposed stock limits on pulses, will allow wholesale traders to stock up to 500 tonne but no particularly variety can be over 200 tonne. Retailers’ limits are unchanged at five tonnes.

Also read: What went wrong with kharif sowing so far

Millers will be allowed to keep stocks that match the production during the previous six months or 50 per cent of their annual installed capacity. The earlier caps were 200 tonne for wholesalers and three month’s production or 25 per cent of installed capacity for millers.

The pulses trade welcomed thedecision. “We are confident that this will smoothen the supply of pulses in coming months and stabilise the prices during the forthcoming festivals period,” said Bimal Kothari, Vice Chairman, Indian Pulses and Grains Association, in a statement.

Myanmar impact

“The Centre had to revise the norms since prices of pulses such as tur and urad continued to rule high. This was since Myanmar is unable to export them due to unrest following a coup and spread of Covid pandemic,” said New Delhi-based trade analyst S Chandrasekaran.

Trade sources said that importers were also hesitating to import in view of the stock limits and, as a result, prices continued to rule firm. For example, urad dal and tur dal retail prices are currently ruling at ₹114 and ₹100 kg, respectively, in Delhi – unchanged over the past month.

Also read: Whimsical monsoon

“The decision to relax the stock limits is also a signal to farmers that the Centre is also concerned over their welfare, particularly when kharif sowing is on,” Chandrasekharan said.

The Centre’s decision is also a 12 per cent decline in the area under kharif pulses.

Even though the stock limits are relaxed, traders, millers and importers have to declare their stocks on the Department of Consumer Affairs’ web portal, the statement said. Importers are exempted from stock limits, but they too need to declare the stocks.

Also read: OECD-FAO outlook report on pulses overlooks some vital facts

While the government said the decision was taken because the prices have already softened and feedback received from State governments and various stakeholders, including the industry associations.

However, a noted industry expert said that the government’s decision was anti-farmer as it further drove the market prices of pulses down. “Most pulses barring moong were selling below MSP rates, with the stock holding limiting decision on July 2, the prices crashed further,” he said.

Published on July 19, 2021

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