Short term Indian pulse demand subdued

Gregor Heard
By Gregor Heard
June 2 2020 - 4:30am
There is unlikely to be a marked spike in demand from India for Australian pulses in the short term, but longer term Aussie officials are more optimistic.

AUSTRALIAN pulse industry officials are not confident of any major change to Indian pulse tariffs in the short-term.

At present, listeners to a webinar hosted by Pulse Australia were told that lentils were the bright spot within the industry at present, with values appreciating in the past couple of months, which has been reflected in Australian farmgate bids.

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Indian demand for lentils is good and the 33 per cent tariff on the crop is less prohibitive than for chickpeas.

However, for other crops it was not such a rosy picture.

For some crops such as lupins, officials familiar with the situation said any demand would only be for stockfeed which is not a high value market.

On the chickpea front, traditionally Australia's major pulse export, it was heard there was unlikely to be any moves on tariffs, which currently make trade into India very difficult to compete, in the immediate future.

Instead, Indian government officials are looking to see what the final production figures from the recent rabi (winter) harvest were and what the balance sheet looks like.

The immediate focus of most Indian government officials is currently dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic so this decision making is not expected to happen for some time.

However, industry analysts do think that there are signs India could be looking at a shortfall of pulses by the end of the year which means they could potentially look at easing the most punitive import tariffs to ensure sufficient supply.

The immediate demand for chickpeas is also not a big issue for Australia as the east coast drought last years means there is little product left to export.

Gregor Heard

Gregor Heard

National Grains Industry Reporter

Gregor Heard is Fairfax Ag Media's national grains industry reporter, based in Horsham, Victoria. He has a wealth of knowledge surrounding the cropping sector through his ten years in the role. Prior to that he was with the Fairfax network as a reporter with Stock & Land. Some of the major issues he has reported on during his time with the company include the deregulation of the export wheat market, the introduction of genetically modified crops and the fight to protect growers better from grain trader insolvencies. Still involved with the family farm he is passionate about rural Australia and its people and hopes to use his role to act as an advocate for those involved in the grain sector. Away from work, he is a keen traveller, having spent his long service leave last year in Spain learning the language.

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