Agri Business

To hold prices, Govt slaps 30% import duty on chana, masur

Our Bureau New Delhi/Mumbai | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on December 21, 2017

To protect the interest of farmers, the Centre on Thursday decided to impose a 30 per cent import duty on chana (chickpeas) and masur (lentils), with immediate effect, an official release said.

“Production of chickpeas and lentils is expected to be high during the forthcoming rabi season, and cheap imports can adversely affect the interest of the farmers,” the release said.

The government’s notification comes in the wake of falling prices of pulses in domestic markets due to higher production, traders said.

Like last year, the country expects a bumper pulses production this year, too. Cheaper imports, on account of prevailing low international prices, may suppress domestic prices, deepening the farm distress in the country.

In a similar move, the Government had in November slapped a 50 per cent import duty on yellow peas and 10 per cent ;evy on tur dal.

Meanwhile, following the move, prices of chana and masur jumped by ₹300-400 a quintal today.

In the benchmark Delhi market, chana sold at ₹4,700/quintal, up ₹300 from Wednesday, while masur was going for ₹4,000, up ₹500-600, traders said.

Chana prices in Delhi fell to a near-three-year low of ₹4,100 mid-December because of lower demand from stockists and expectations of a higher acreage under the pulse. Since the beginning of the month, chana prices have fallen by 13 per cent.

Prices of chana and masurare likely to rise by another 6-8 per cent in the coming days, a senior official with an importing MNC said.

However, a sharp rise in chana prices may be capped because of expectations of a jump in output resulting from higher sowing.

According to data from the Agriculture Ministry, as of Wednesday, the acreage under chana was estimated at 9.6 million hectares , the highest since 1961-62.

With the levy of import duty, prices of the pulses in global market may fall substantially, traders said.

In the international market, Canadian masur, which is trading at $470-480 per tonne, is expected to fall to $425, while chana is estimated to drop to $600/tonne from $660-665, the official said.

In 2016-17 (April-March), the country imported 6 million tonnes (mt) of pulses of which chana accounted for over 1 mt and masur 700,000 tonnes. India is the world’s largest importer and consumer of pulses.

Published on December 21, 2017
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