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A boom time for the pulse industry

10 August 20205 min reading

Denis Plenkin Agricultural Commodity Broker Agropa Trading dplenkin@agropatrading.com

As unfortunate as all the human stories are, the COVID-19 pandemic has ignited a very busy shipping period and I think this increase in demand will remain for the balance of the year. During this time of uncertainty, I think many consumers will favor cheaper proteins that can be stored and feed families for longer periods of time. There will also likely be even more household discussion and introduction of pulses and pulse foods into everyday diets.

Pulses are considered as a superfood owing to the presence of high levels of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and complex carbohydrates. Apart from the nutritional benefits, pulses also assist in improving digestion, reducing blood glucose, minimizing inflammation, lowering blood cholesterol, and preventing chronic health issues such as diabetes, heart diseases, and obesity. However, their consumption differs from region to region depending on the dietary patterns, availability, and prevailing conditions. The global pulses market grew at a CAGR of 6% during 2014-2019.

I can mark several global pulses market drivers: pulses can be processed into different forms such as whole, split, pulses flours, and pulse fractions like protein, starch, and fiber. The flour and fractions find diverse applications in industries like meat and snack food, bakery, beverages, and breading. Pulses are now increasingly being used in the processing of ready-to-eat food products. As a result of rapid urbanization, changing lifestyles and hectic work schedules, healthy snack foods are becoming popular amongst the working population. As the global population is rapidly increasing, the gap between the demand and supply of pulses is widening. In order to minimize this difference, the governments of pulses-producing countries are providing assistance to the farmers, in turn, strengthening the growth of the market. As pulses are associated with various health benefits, the health-conscious consumers are increasingly incorporating dishes made from pulses into their everyday diets, in turn, propelling the growth of the global pulses market.

When I scanned the bean division at a grocery store in shops these days, I saw something I have never seen before: empty shelves. In one sense, this is like the best dream, who runs producing and packaging of beans. In another sense, you go, this is pretty serious. As the coronavirus pandemic upends daily life across Russia, the consumers are filling their pantries with long-lasting essentials — pasta, rice, canned meat, even oat milk. But amid all the panic shopping, the growing demand for beans has stood out as an especially potent symbol of the anxious and uncertain times. At supermarkets, shoppers are stocking up on canned beans from familiar brands, as well as thick bags of dry beans that usually lie largely untouched on store shelves. The Covid-19 pandemic scare, which continues to slow down the global economy, has led to a rise in the end consumer prices of sugar, pulses, and edible oils in the last days this time.

The planting of the 2020 pulse crops has been done and I was analyzing the situation and the output is quite strange and understandable. With the last March demand surge, due to COVID-19, pulse prices have increased sending a signal to growers around the world. Being that this occurred just before the 2020 seeding cycle, there’s a good chance red lentil acreage all over the world will be up more than 30% over last year.

Well, how I see the COVID-19 pandemic affecting pulse markets. As unfortunate as all the human stories are, the pandemic has ignited a very busy shipping period and I think this increase in demand will remain for the balance of the year. During this time of uncertainty, I think many consumers will favor cheaper proteins that can be stored and feed families for longer periods of time. There will also likely be even more household discussion and introduction of pulses and pulse foods into everyday diets.

In my opinion the opportunities for market participants are: Globally, the pulses market is likely to witness significant growth owing to the mounting consumer inclination towards healthy and nutritious food. The ecological sustainability of pulses is also one of the major factors driving the pulses market owing to the reduced emission of CO2 and reduction in the level of greenhouse gases. As this contributes to a global cause, governments of various countries are encouraging the production of pulses at a global level. Moreover, the growers of pulses are also influenced by the global increase in the demand for pulses, which is expected to rapidly boost the global production of pulses. Furthermore, growth in the health-conscious population is also a major factor contributing to the growth of the pulses market as the demand for cholesterol-free and low-fat food ingredients is increasing. The leading players of the pulses market are trying their best to capitalize on the opportunities available in the market owing to the increasing demand for protein-rich and gluten-free products. The Asia Pacific region is expected to witness high growth in the demand for pulses as a result of population growth.

To sum up I would like to share some amazing recipe which will surprise you how easy and delicious the pulses could be.

Make the lentil bean filling. Splash the canola oil into a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Toss in the onions, garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Sauté until the vegetables soften and the spice flavors brighten, 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in the lentils, beans, water, and salt. Bring the works to a slow, steady simmer. Cover tightly and continue slowly cooking until the lentils are tender, 35 minutes or so. Stir in the hot sauce.

Assemble the tacos. Fit a full leaf of lettuce into a hard taco shell. This will hold the fillings in when the hard shell inevitably breaks. Fill each taco with a heaping spoonful of the lentil bean filling. Pack with cheese, salsa, and cilantro. Serve with the lime wedges and share!

Enjoy!

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