International Agriculture News

India slaps duty on peas, wheat

India’s government has imposed a 50 percent duty on peas and a 20 percent duty on wheat.

Pulse prices in India are suffering because of a bumper harvest of all crops in 2016-17 and a good summer crop in the current crop year.

The country also still has substantial supplies of imported pulses.

The Times of India reports that as Indian farmers start seeding their winter crops the government wanted to provide positive price signals to increase production.

The duty on wheat is an increase from a previous duty of 10 percent. There had been no duty on peas previously.

In the Nov. 2 issue, the Western Producer reported that India was considering duties on peas.

In that story Brian Clancey, editor of Stat Publishing, said that a duty on peas would likely have little impact.

The story said yellow peas are the cheapest pulse in the world and while a duty could make the product more expensive, it would still be an affordable substitute for chickpeas.

However, if India decided to implement an import quota as it has with pigeon peas and gram, that would be a disaster. The government has not announced import quotas.

But there is the continuing fumigation issue.

As of Oct. 1, Canadian exporters either have to have their shipments fumigated with methyl bromide in Singapore or pay five times the normal inspection fee upon arrival in India, which amounts to about $15 per tonne.

Because India is well stocked with pulses, Canada’s exports are already down a lot from previous years.

The Canadian Grain Commission, which tracks bulk exports, pegs pea shipments to Oct. 29 at about 850,000, down from 1.4 million at the same point last year.

Bulk lentil shipments are at 88,200 tonnes, down from 307,300 tonnes last year.

The CGC numbers do not include shipments by container.