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India places more hurdles on pea imports

India places more hurdles on pea imports

Shipments will face a minimum import price of CAD$3.62 per kilogram

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The Indian government has put up another obstacle for pea imports.

In December, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade mandated that shipments of green, yellow, dun and kaspa peas will be subject to a minimum import price of Rs 200 (CAD $3.62) per kilogram.

The minimum import price is a measure the country uses protect domestic farmers from low commodity prices.

In addition, any vessels carrying peas can only unload at the government-owned Port of Kolkata. India has a total of 13 major sea ports. One is owned by a private company while the other dozen belong to the government.

India’s trading partners were blindsided by the addition of the minimum import price.

“As per usual it comes without any prior notification to India’s global trading partners and it has caused exporters in the trade, in Canada and all over the world, to ask questions regarding how this new requirement will unfold,” Mac Ross, director of market access and trade policy with Pulse Canada, told 620 CKRM on Dec. 23.

These measures are in addition to high tariffs India placed on peas and pulses in 2017.

All countries must pay a fumigation fee of about CAD$700,000 for a 50,000-ton vessel, plus a 50 per cent tariff on peas. India also has a 33 per cent tariff on lentils and a 44 per cent tariff on chickpeas.

India's government is putting high tariffs on goods to help make use of local commodities. 

"As India tries to become more self-sufficient with a lot of agriculture, (the government has) imposed these added restrictions," said Abhinesh Gopal, a commodity analyst with Risk Management. "It may be a slightly tighter market situation in 2020 for Canadian pea exporters."

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