India likely to import 5 MT pulses in Apr-Dec period
The Dollar Business Bureau
To enhance domestic supply market and cool down the retail prices, India is expected to import pulses worth 5 million tonnes during April-December in the current fiscal. Majorly, private players will import pulses.
During the same period in the previous fiscal, India had imported 4.5 million tonnes of pulses.
The whole of FY16, India had imported 5.78 million tonnes to meet the demand for pulses in the home market.
Pravin Dongre, Chairman of India Pulses and Grains Association, said that Indian traders have already imported 1.2-1.3 million tonnes of pulses. He further revealed that private traders are already in contract to import 3 million tonnes, which will be shipped in September-December.
The total imports for the latest fiscal, however, depend on the monsoons, he added.
Bimal Kothari, Vice-Chairman IPGA, said that the domestic production of pulses will increase if the monsoons are as good as forecasted, resulting in lesser imports of pulses for the last quarter.
The falling production due to unseasonal rains led to increase in prices of pulses since two crop years, said IPGA.
The output of pulses came down to 17.06 million tonnes in FY16 from 7.15 million tonnes registered in previous crop year. In FY14, the production was over 19 million tonnes.
As a result, the prices have gone up with Urad and Tur dal selling at Rs 198 and Rs. 180 per kg, respectively.
To ensure market prices are kept in check and to intervene when prices soar high in retail, the government decided to increase the buffer stock limit to 8 lakh tonnes. The government is also importing pulses to boost domestic supply.
So far, around 1.19 lakh tonnes have been acquired from farmers for buffer stock. About 46,000 tonnes of pulses have been contracted for imports.