Pulse weekly outlook: India extends pea, lentil tariffs

CNS Canada — The Indian government has again extended its import restrictions on peas, this time until Dec. 31.

India late last year initiated duties of 50 per cent on imported peas and 30 per cent on lentils and desi chickpeas. It has since raised the lentil tariff to 60 per cent.

In effect, the duties have remained since then, despite some relaxation of the regulations to permit 100,000 tonnes of peas outside the duty for the April-to-June quarter, a quota which was filled almost immediately.

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With the recent announcement, the duties now remain in place until year-end.

India buys peas mainly from Canada, Russia, France and the U.S.

India’s tariffs have drastically slowed Canadian pea exports, with carryout from the 2017-18 crop year at 650,000 tonnes, more than twice the previous year.

Lentils stocks were at 876,000 tonnes at the end of the last crop year.

In India, farmers are estimated to have harvested about 25.23 million tonnes of all pulse types, according to Indian government estimates, up from the previous estimate of 24.51 million tonnes.

As well, seeding for kharif (summer) crop indicates farmers there show no signs of moving away from pulses, with 32.9 million acres seeded, compared to 34.8 million acres a year ago.

Analysts had been hoping for a larger decline in seeded acres, in hopes of drawing down supply.

Statistics Canada has estimated Canadian farmers in 2018 harvested 2.23 million tonnes of lentils and 3.74 million tonnes of peas.

CGC export figures show Canada exported 2.067 million tonnes of peas during the 2017-18 crop year (Aug. 1 to July 30), which compares to 3.347 million tonnes the previous crop year.

About 316,100 tonnes of lentils were shipped in 2017-18, compared to 853,800 tonnes in 2016-17.

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