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Global Lentil/Chickpeas Market Observe Little Changes; Indian Chickpeas Remain Positive

Abhijeet Banerjee
Abhijeet Banerjee

The recently ended week saw marginal price fluctuations in global lentil markets and most participants reportedly waited for the coming week's seeded area estimates for Canada and the United States. As per sources lentil producers in both Canada and the United States have shown intentions of lowering the sowing area of the crop from 3.78 to 3.71 million acres in Canada and from 7.86 Lakh acres to 4.74 Lakh acres in the United States. Consensus amongst global participants is indicative for the fact that the actual planted area may increase over last year because of higher prices and demand prevailing in wholesale markets before commencement of the seeding operations.

Global chickpea markets experienced routine trading sessions with little price revisions on daily basis, during the week. Like Lentils, most participants were keen over upcoming week's seeded area estimates for Canada and the United States. General estimates amongst traders and farmers indicate that sowing may drop in US and Canada versus last season owing to disease spread in the crop in few regions, in addition to lower prices and limited transport activities against Lockdown situation. Because of excess moisture in some locations, concerns are seen with respect to the possible yield loss due to the spread of the crop diseases.

Meanwhile there are hopes in case of small caliber Kabuli chickpeas where drier areas could result in a higher crop size. Exports of chickpeas from Australia were lower versus previous month according to data from Australia Bureau of Statistics. Shipments totaled 13,525 metric tons (MT) in the month, down 19% from the 16,699 MT shipped the previous month. Australia Bureau of Statistics revealed that the export sales so far total 231,080 MT, compared to 207,442 during the previous marketing year. Data also showed that United Arab Emirates were the number one takers, purchasing 4,125 MT during the month. Pakistan was the second biggest consumer purchasing 1,960 MT, and third was Bangladesh seeking 1,612 MT of Australian chickpeas.

Domestic Chana markets ended the week on a positive note. Although upside was capped yet prices were comfortable in moving on upward track during greater part of the week. With prices still ruling below the MSP i.e. Rs 4620/qtl, selling interest was less in the market. Besides and retail demand was moderate. Procurement from the government also keeps trade interest positive. The NAFED has procured 18.5 lakh MT of Chana this season till the third week of the month. Out of total Chana procured, around 7 lakh Mt has been procured in MP while Rajasthan contributed 4.64 lakh MT till now. NAFED has recently extended the procurement date in MP and now the agency would procure Chana till 29th July in the state.

NAFED has procured Over 18 Lakh MT Chana in MP so far, as against the target of 22.5 Lakh MT.  For 2019-2020 production of Chana is estimated at 10.90 million tons versus 9.94 million tons in 2018-19. Prices are much lower than the MSP and may not be sustainable. Therefore farmers are unlikely to sell their stocked Chana unless they get better rates. Chana acreage as per latest reports has increased to 107.21 lakh hectare versus 96.19 lakh hectare same period in 2019. Latest report of ABARES has estimated Australian chickpea production to be 2.48 percent higher in 2019-20 at 2.89 lakh tons as against 2.82 lakh tons in 2018-19.

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