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Saskatchewan’s pulse industry hit hard by India’s export restrictions

Saskatchewan’s pulse industry hit hard by India’s export restrictions

Lentil prices drop to half their summer levels

By Kate Ayers

Staff Reporter


Ripple effects from the Indian ban on Canadian pulse imports continue to take their toll on Canadian producers.

Saskatchewan has the highest lentil production in Canada, so these export restrictions have a big effect on the province, according to an online CBC article on Thursday.

As a result of this trade situation, the price of lentils has dropped to almost half its value since the summer, Saskatchewan’s Minister of Agriculture said to CBC.

“That’s a huge loss to our producers,” said Lyle Stewart.

“The pest they want us to fumigate for doesn’t exist in Canada, and the chemical that you have to use to kill them is illegal in Canada. That’s our problem.”

India is steadfast in its decision to not extend its waiver. Canadian officials, including Stewart, haven’t made much progress on the issue, despite their efforts to find solutions.

“India’s made concessions to other countries on this matter but not Canada,” said Stewart. (India granted other countries an extension until Dec. 31.)

Previously, Canada was India’s preferred lentil provider. This restriction is the first time since 2004 that Canada has not been given the extension.

In addition, India spontaneously declared a 50 per cent tariff on all dry pea imports on Nov. 8, according to the CBC article.

“Something’s changed, and nobody can get a really solid handle on what’s driving this,” Stewart said to CBC.

The tariff will impact farmers’ plans for the 2018 growing season.

“It’s tough to know how long this import duty will be in place but we think it will likely remain in place as farmers make planting decisions for the upcoming cropping season,” Carl Potts, executive director of Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, said to today.

“As much as we would like for changes to be made, I think the reality is that (the tariff) will impact planting decisions for the upcoming year.”

Canadian pulse exports to India were valued at $1.1 billion in 2016.


Updated December 4, 2017

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