Agri Business

Pulses imports likely to remain high on rising demand

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on December 23, 2011

pulses

Driven by rising consumption, India's pulses imports for the current financial year may stay at last year's levels of around 3 million tonnes. This is despite a record-high output in the 2010-11 crop year, which stood at 18 million tonnes.

“Total imports in the current fiscal are expected to be around the same as in 2010-11,” said Mr Rajiv Agarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. The high imports are on account of growing consumption of pulses, a major source of protein for a large populace.

Besides, rising income levels, the adequate availability and lower prices of pulses are also seen aiding consumption. Mr Agarwal was speaking at the launch of the Global Pulses Conclave 2012, to be held in Mumbai in February next year.

The imports for the April-October period of current fiscal stood at 1.659 million tonnes as against 1.628 million tonnes in the corresponding period last year. “The current trend shows that imports are likely to be at last year's levels,” Mr Agarwal said.

India had imported about 3 million tonnes of pulses in 2010-11, lower than the previous year's 3.5 million tonnes. However, the pulses trade estimates that imports this year will be lower on account of higher domestic output and the over 20 per cent devaluation of rupee making imports costlier.

“We expect the imports to be in the range of 2.5 to 3 million tonnes this year,” said Mr Pravin Dongre, President of the India Pulses and Grains Association. Importers have so far absorbed the impact of the rupee decline, Mr Dongre said. “If the rupee falls further, then importers will have to start passing on the costs to consumers,” he added.

The country had produced a record high of 18 million tonnes of pulses in 2010-11 crop year as against 14.66 million tonnes in the previous year. In the current year, the Government had set a production target of 17 million tonnes, a marginal decline on account of inadequate rains in certain States such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

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Published on December 23, 2011
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