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Pulse industry responds to Indian pea restrictions

Pulse industry responds to Indian pea restrictions

India placed a minimum price on all pea imports in December

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Finding new markets and uses for peas and pulses is one way of getting around Indian import restrictions, a pulse industry rep said.

Different countries in Asia are importing more pulses, which helps to make up for India’s lack of purchases, said Mac Ross, the director of market access and trade policy with Pulse Canada.

“We all know that 80 per cent of the pulses we grow are exported to the global marketplace,” he told Farms.com. “Luckily, we’ve seen China step in and pick up some of the slack caused by India’s actions. We sent more peas to China during the 2017-18 year than we ever sent to India.”

The industry is also looking to diversify its end-use market and has a goal of ensuring 25 per cent of annual pulse production, or about 2 million tonnes, go into new uses by 2025.

“We want to get to a point where our success can come from a number of different places and not just one sole export market,” Ross said.

Since 2017, India has placed high tariffs and restrictions on pea and pulse imports.

That year, the country tariffed imports of pulses at a rate of 50 per cent. And in December 2019, India placed a minimum price on all pea imports and restricted vessel access to one port.

The import price of Rs 200 per kilogram adds up to about US$2,800 (CAD$3,644) per tonne, Ross said.

The global pulse community is working with the Indian government to ensure any import changes are made based on rules and transparency, he added.

“Exporters from all over the world are asking how (trade with India) is going to work moving forward,” he said. “We’re working with the Global Pulse Confederation, our government and the government of India to ensure that, as India implements these measures to support its farmers, it does so in a predictable environment that allows us to supply the (country) with pulses.”

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