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Indian market pays a premium for green lentils

The current massive price premium between green and red lentils is justified, says a trader of the crop.

The premium for large green lentils over reds has averaged US$414 per tonne since the start of the 2023-24 marketing year, according to Stat Publishing.

That is more than double last year’s average of $202.

Canadian bids as of Oct. 27 were 65 cents per pound for large green lentils versus 37 cents per pound for reds, according to Stat.

The excitement surrounding green lentils stems from two consecutive years of dismal pigeon pea production in India.

The Indian government estimates this year’s crop at 3.42 million tonnes, slightly above last year’s output of 3.31 million tonnes. Both are about one million tonnes below normal.

Traders in Mumbai, India, say it is even worse than what the government is reporting.

They think this year’s crop is 25 percent smaller than last year’s, according to Pavan Talwar, president of PKT Associates Inc., a pulse trading company based in New Jersey

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