Status quo on Indian pulse tariffs

Status quo on Indian pulse tariffs


Grain
Indian chickpea import tariffs are set to remain.

Indian chickpea import tariffs are set to remain.

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The Indian government has stuck with the status quo in terms of a variety of tariffs on pulse imports.

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THE INDIAN government's focus on the upcoming national election there has meant it has made no significant alterations to a range of tariff and duty measures imposed on pulse imports.

Late last month, with the current quota period for field peas on the verge of expiring, India announced a small increases in its quota for the year ending March 31 2020, up to 150,000 tonnes, an increase of 50,000t.

This will have limited implications for Australian growers, with the bulk of Aussie field peas going into domestic markets, especially with the shortage of high protein livestock feed as a result of the drought, although there are some Kaspa-type field peas that sometimes went to the subcontinent.

On the front of more important commodities for Aussie pulse exporters, both chickpea and lentil restrictions remained unchanged with the 60pc tariff on chickpea imports and the 33pc tariff on lentil imports remaining unchanged. There is no quota on either commodity.

The decision may see a further swing away from pulse plantings in Australia, where many growers, faced with low soil moisture profiles, are already considering planting more low risk crops, in particular barley.

Other pulse crops, such as faba beans, may also compete for hectares, given the sky-high returns on offer last harvest.

However, analysts are warning the prices were due to a perfect storm of poor production both here and in Europe and urge growers to not bank on four figure prices for the crop, a staple in Egypt, this season.

Already, reports are that European producers have followed the pricing signals and planted more faba beans this season.

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