Pulses prices to surge 10-15 percent in festive season: Study

Kolkata, Sep 25 (IANS) With the supply of pulses seeing a shortage of 10 million tonnes, prices are expected to head north by 10-15 percent this festive season even as the supply shortfall has to be met by imports, a study said on Friday.

“As deficit monsoon rains have affected the yield in several producing states, the country may have to import over 10 million tonnes (mt) of pulses since the domestic production may be limited to 17 mt against the rising demand of 27 million tonnes,” said a study on pulses by industry body Assocham.

It said with festivals like Diwali round the corner, the demand for pulses would further shoot up and prices may be looking up.

“As it is, the pulses are selling at Rs.90-150 per kg with prices varying in different states, depending on the demand pattern. The consumption of pulses and cereals increases because of increased demand for preparation of sweets and other delicacies going with different festivals, from Diwali right up to Christmas,” it said.

As per the study, India has a total annual demand of 27.1 mt of pulses out of which it grows 17 mt and imports the remaining 10.1 mt to meet its domestic demand. With the lack of proper monsoons, there might be less production than usual.

“Import of the pulses from other countries could be extremely expensive this year as the grower countries already facing a shortage of supply have increased their selling rates,” the study said.

The report said India is dependent mainly on Myanmar for Tur, Urad and Moong varieties of pulses while on Canada and US. for yellow peas. The dependency for chickpeas remains with Australia, Canada and Myanmar while for lentil imports, Canada, Australia and US are important. Small quantities of various pulses are imported from other countries including China, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi and Turkey.

“During 2013-14, pulses worth $1.9 billion were imported. In the following year, the import bill on account of pulses was $2.6 billion showing an increase of 36.8 percent on year over year basis. In the April-June period of the current fiscal, the country has already imported pulses worth $0.66 billion,” it added.

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