During the April-February 2017-18 Pulses shipments rose 18 percent at around 1.34 lakh tonnes against the corresponding previous year’s 1.13 lakh tonnes, according to the  provisional data released by the Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA).

In value terms, shipments for the period were up 15 percent at $183 million against $158 million in the corresponding period last year. The export volumes are very low compared to the estimated production of 23.95 million tonnes. Exports of pulses are beginning to look up after the Centre removed curbs on overseas shipments last November, after almost a decade. However, the pulses trade feels that Indian exporters may have to work hard to regain lost markets amidst a global surplus.

“A beginning (for exports) has been made. There has been some demand coming in from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,” said Suresh Agrawal, President, All India Dal Mills Association.

Pulses such as chana dal and moong dal are being shipped, apart from kabuli chana, he said. However, exports are unlikely to help stabilise domestic prices in the near term as there is surplus supply in both domestic and international markets, Agrawal said.

Bimal Kothari, Vice Chairman, Indian Pulses and Grains Association, said the government has allowed exports of all the pulses freely. However, that has not opened doors for Indian pulses overseas as they have been replaced in markets such as West Asia and Africa, due to the decade-long ban on pulses exports.

Also, due to the higher minimum support price (MSP), Indian pulses are non-competitive in the international market. While the pigeon pea or tur from Myanmar is quoted at $300 per tonne, the Indian tur is quoted at $800 per tonne.

“Considering the present scenario, it may take at least a year for the Indian pulses exports to pick up. Even with much optimism we expect exports to be around 0.5 million tonnes for 2018-19,” Kothari added. The second advance estimates had pegged India’s pulses output at a record 23.95 million tonnes against last year’s final estimate of 23.15 mt. Rates for the majority of the pulses have been bearish on higher supplies this year. The Centre had recently announced a 7 per cent incentive for bengal gram dal under the Merchandise Export Incentive Scheme.

 

Chander Mohan

Krishi Jagran/New Delhi

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