Despite fall in output, overall pulses prices to remain stable
Alekh Angre 10 February 2012

“As per government estimates, total production for last year was 18.2 million tonnes. This year we expect a marginal decline and estimate total output of around 17 million tonnes,” says Bimal Kothari, vice-president of the India Pulses and Grain Association

Despite fall in the production of pulses, prices are expected to remain stable. However, the price of chana (gram), particularly, is likely to climb up by around 7% in April on the event of lower output due to erratic weather conditions.

“The current market is stable. Prices have been in the reach of common man. As per government estimates, total production for last year was 18.2 million tonnes. This year we expect a marginal decline and estimate total output of around 17 million tonnes— including Kharif and Rabi. Though there is no need to panic and worry,” says Bimal Kothari, vice-president of the India Pulses and Grain Association (IPGA).  

According to IPGA, currently the price of tur (whole) is at Rs32, urad at Rs30, yellow peas is priced at Rs21. The price of chana is expected to go up by around 7% in April due to lower output. “Output of chana (gram) will be lower this year by about 10% as the crop was affected by adverse weather conditions in the main producing states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The sowing of chana will soon begin in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan,” Mr Kothari said.

He adds, “Around 1 lakh tonnes of chana have been already imported from Australia.”  India is the largest producer of pulses. Despite this it is also the biggest importer of pulses, from countries like Australia, Canada and Myanmar, consuming about 15% of the world pulses trade.

According to Mr Kothari, out of the total import basket, 50% is yellow peas, which is imported from Canada, Ukraine, Russia and France.

The IPGA expects annual imports to remain on the same level as last year despite the dip in the production. “Last year we imported 3 lakh million tonne. We expect the same this year, annually. In March imports generally rise by 5%-7%. This year it will be the same,” said Mr Kothari.

In fact, the IPGA is endorsing for exports of certain pulses depending on the output. “The government should allow export with certain directives and riders. For instance last year tur was in huge production, this time it is urad. So government can ascertain the production of various pulses and then allow exports,” explains Mr Kothari.

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