Indian government investigates pulse collusion claims

Glencore involved as Indian government investigates pulse price collusion claims

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There have been raids of offices as part of an Indian government crackdown into possible cartel pricing by pulse traders in 2015-16.

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There have been claims there has been collusion in the Indian pulse market, the largest market for pulse products in the world. Photo: Mary Raynes, AEGIC.

There have been claims there has been collusion in the Indian pulse market, the largest market for pulse products in the world. Photo: Mary Raynes, AEGIC.

THE WORLD pulse industry is scrambling to learn more about alleged weekend raids by the Indian government on three major players in the pulse trade over claims they were involved in a cartel keeping prices artificially high in 2015-16.

Just less than two years since the last time the Indian government took action over anti-competitive behaviour, Reuters reported there were raids on three high profile businesses as part of an inquiry into anti-competitive behaviour.

Reports have said the offices of global grains giant Glencore, together with African agribusiness Export Trading and Indian-based Edelweiss were all raided by the Indian government's anti-trust unit, the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

The Indian government has been investigating claims the three companies formed a cartel during 2015-16 when pulse prices were at high values due to poor domestic Indian seasons.

It is not known what specific commodities were under investigation and whether it has had any influence on the sales of Australian product.

Neither Glencore or Pulse Australia could shed much light on the issue.

In a statement,Glencore Agriculture India has limited information on the scope of the inquiry of the CCI at this time. Glencore Agriculture India is fully committed to compliance with all laws and regulations, including competition laws, and will cooperate with the CCI as required.

Pulse Australia said it had only been made aware of the matter this week and was still seeking more information before commenting.

In previous action, taken in 2017, investigators looked specifically at urad (black bean) and toor (pigeon peas) neither of which are exported in any quantity from Australia.

However, a widening of the investigations to include chickpeas would mean there is the potential that Australian product would form part of the discussion as Glencore has been an exporter of Australian chickpeas to India.

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