Agri Business

Pulses trade urges Centre to fix import quota soon

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru | Updated on March 10, 2021


Amidst bullish trend in the pulses complex, millers and importers have urged the Union Government to release the import quota for tur and moong for 2021-22 at the earliest to keep prices under check even as the traditional summer demand has started to pick up.

Last week, the Centre permitted import of four lakh tonnes of urad for the next financial year.

As per the second advance estimates released by the Agriculture Ministry, production of pulses is seen higher at 24.42 million tonnes (mt). However, the trade believes that the actual crop size could be much lower as the unseasonal rain in the key producing States hit the crops, impacting the quality and yield.

Prices of almost all pulses are trading higher above the minimum support price levels, while that of gram, which is currently being harvested, is hovering marginally lower than the support price.

“Considering that the demand is going to rise in the coming months, we have requested the Government that the quota for tur and moong be announced at the earliest for the next fiscal year,” said Bimal Kothari, Vice-Chairman, Indian Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA).

The tur quota is likely to be around six lakh tonnes, including two lakh tonnes from Mozambique, being imported under the G2G (Government to Government) arrangement.

supply worries

The All India Dal Mills Association has also urged the Government to announce the quota early this year, said its chairman, Suresh Agarwal.

“This time the tur prices are high and we are not going to see any crop in India till December. Also, internationally not much of tur is not much available. World-wide, tur is produced in Myanmar and East Africa. In Myanmar, this time the crop is low, less than one lakh tonnes and also the political situation there is very much disturbed. So there will be a supply issue from Myanmar. Even if we get one lakh tonnes from Myanmar, it will be lower as far as our consumption is concerned. So, the next larger crop will be from East Africa and that will come in from August-September. The availability will be a major issue this time,” IPGA’s Kothari said.


Strong demand seen

Out of major six pulses, five, except chana, are ruling much above the MSP levels. “We are not going to see low prices for pulses this year,” Kothari said adding that consumption was on the rise. “Though our government is trying to achieve self-reliance in pulses, the demand is rising by about a million tonnes every year as our population is rising and so also the incomes. We have to keep up the programme to boost our production,” he added.

The summer demand for pulses has started to kick in, Kothari said. The demand for pulses picks up normally during summer.

Dal Millers Association’s Agarwal said the moong import quota was likely to be around 1.5 lakh tonnes and a decision from the Government was expected soon.

Last year, moong import quota was announced in November, when there was no crop in the international market. As a result, only 50-60,000 tonnes could be imported and the remaining quota was unutilised, Kothari said. “So we have requested the Government to extend the unutilised quota of last year in addition to the normal quota of 1.5 lakh tonnes,” he said.

Moong is produced in small quantities in countries such as Myanmar, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, East Africa, Brazil and Argentina.

“All the crop arrivals start from February-March internationally and since the prices are high in India at ₹80-85, we need the quantity to stabilise the prices so that the interests of farmers and consumers are protected,” Kothari added.

Published on March 10, 2021

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