Agri Business

Tur prices rally on crop worries

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru | Updated on February 17, 2021

Millers seek to import as prices hit 5-year high


For the first time in five years, prices of tur or pigeon pea have increased above the minimum support price (MSP) levels during the current crop year (July 2020-June 2021) on lower crop and steady demand.

Tur harvest is on and the rally in prices has provided relief to the growers — mainly in parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra — who faced crop and yield losses due to extended monsoon and flooding in the region.

Modal prices (rates at which most trades take place) across major terminal agricultural markets for tur such as Kalaburgi, Akola, Latur, Amrawati, Bidar, Yadir and Raichur are ruling at least ten per cent higher than the MSP ₹6,000 per quintal over the last few days.

In fact, the wholesale tur prices in Kalaburgi are higher by over 30 per cent over same period last year. In consuming markets such as Bengaluru agricultural marketing committee (APMC) mandi, the modal prices for arhar (tur dal) were at ₹10,800 on Tuesday. As a result, retail prices have started to rise.


Releasing stocks

“Growers are happy with the current price, which are ruling higher than MSP after a gap of almost five years. The rally started after Nafed stopped releasing last year’s stocks in the market recently,” said Basavaraj Ingin, President of Karnataka Pradesh Red Gram Growers’ Association.

Farmers who harvested the crop earlier during January couldn’t take advantage of the price rally. As prices have started moving up in the past few days, growers, especially the larger ones, are seen holding back their produce anticipating higher prices, Ingin said.

He further suggested that the Government agencies should calibrate the release of stock or imports avoiding the harvest season.

Govt policies

Santosh Langar, a miller and trader in Kalaburgi, said the current rally is based on the market fundamentals as excess rains have impacted the yields in Karnataka, resulting in a lower crop. “The future price trend would depend on the Government’s policy direction,” Langar said.

Meanwhile, taking note of the market rally, the All India Dal Mills Association has approached the government seeking imports of tur to stabilise the prices. “The crop is 20 per cent lower this year against the anticipated production of 43-44 lakh tonnes (lt) due to pest attacks and excess rains. Also, the strong demand from large buyers has pushed up the prices,” Association president Suresh Agrawal, said.

Smaller crop

According to the Government’s first advance estimates, tur production is estimated at 40.4 lt against the fourth advanced estimates of 38.3 lt last crop year.

Jitu Bheda, Chairman, Indian Pulses and Grains Association, said tur prices have gone up as the yields are projected lower. “Now there is a talk of crop size of 34 lt as against the earlier around 40 lt. The way the market is reacting, prices are likely to remain bullish. We came to know that the Government is assessing the situation and sooner or later they have to take a call on imports to stabilise the prices,” he said.

Published on February 16, 2021

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