The pulses trade sees a rebound in demand on gradual easing of Covid restrictions, start of marriage season later next month and rising vegetable prices.

“We expect there will be higher off-take and better demand for pulses post Diwali after November 15,” said Sunil Sawla, Honorary Secretary, India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), the apex trade body for the sector.

Over the past year and a half, the demand for pulses had come down by 20-25 per cent due to the closure of HoReCa segment on Covid restrictions. The gradual unlocking, reopening of hotels and restaurants and the commencement of wedding season would result in a rise in demand for pulses, Sawla said.

Moreover, the vegetable prices have shot up in the recent weeks due to the excess rains hurting production across various parts of the country. “We expect more people to divert to pulses as a result of higher vegetable prices,” Sawla said.

Prices of pulses, a major source of protein for a large section of the population, have stabilised in recent months after the government opened up the imports. “The Government has succeeded in stabilising the prices, which were going up in June-July,” he said. India is the largest producer and consumer of pulses.

In April-August this year, total pulses imports stood at around 7.20 lakh tonnes against 7.34 lakh tonnes in the same period last year. Total imports for the financial year are likely to be between 1.5 and 2 million tonnes, he said.

IPGA has recently urged the Government to give more time for bringing in the contracted pulses, mainly moong as the disruption in the global logistics has led to higher transit time delaying shipments triggering worries among the importers.

“We have requested the Government to allow moong arrivals till December 31,” he said. For the moong imports contracted till October 31, the Government had allowed arrivals till November end.