India’s pulses imports this year are expected to fall to one million tonnes from 6.6 million tonnes in 2016-17, helping farmers who have been trading their produce below state-fixed minimum support prices (MSP). India consumes around 24-25 million tonnes of pulses, but sowing trends show this year production is expected to be lower compared to last year.
India, in 2018-19, is estimated to produce 23.22 million tonnes of pulses, down by 2.22 million tonnes from last year. With most varieties trading below their MSP, crop production could fall further. Sowing of kharif pulses this season so far is only 7.94 lakh hectare compared to 2.79million hectare last year by this time. The government will release 3.9 million tonnes of pulses in its stocks under the price support scheme (PSS). In the second week of June, the government decided to release 2 lakh tones arhar (toor or tur) from its buffer stock and issued import quota for 2lakh tonnes in early June. With import restrictions in place, domestic availability of pulses (for consumption- other than stock with government) is estimated much lower to have fallen sharply from 30.6 million tonnes in 17-18 to around 24.6 million tons in 18-19.“Total import of pulses in 19-20 is expected to be around 1 million tonnes only (based on policy situation at present) which is expected to arrest supply glut as the government has managed the situation well,” said Bimal Kothari, MD, Pancham International Ltd., a leading importer and trader in pulses.