India slaps duty on peas, wheat

India’s government has imposed a 50 percent duty on peas and a 20 percent duty on wheat.

Pulse prices in India are suffering because of a bumper harvest of all crops in 2016-17 and a good summer crop in the current crop year.

The country also still has substantial supplies of imported pulses.

The Times of India reports that as Indian farmers start seeding their winter crops the government wanted to provide positive price signals to increase production.

The duty on wheat is an increase from a previous duty of 10 percent. There had been no duty on peas previously.

In the Nov. 2 issue, the Western Producer reported that India was considering duties on peas.

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In that story Brian Clancey, editor of Stat Publishing, said that a duty on peas would likely have little impact.

The story said yellow peas are the cheapest pulse in the world and while a duty could make the product more expensive, it would still be an affordable substitute for chickpeas.

However, if India decided to implement an import quota as it has with pigeon peas and gram, that would be a disaster. The government has not announced import quotas.

But there is the continuing fumigation issue.

As of Oct. 1, Canadian exporters either have to have their shipments fumigated with methyl bromide in Singapore or pay five times the normal inspection fee upon arrival in India, which amounts to about $15 per tonne.

Because India is well stocked with pulses, Canada’s exports are already down a lot from previous years.

The Canadian Grain Commission, which tracks bulk exports, pegs pea shipments to Oct. 29 at about 850,000, down from 1.4 million at the same point last year.

Bulk lentil shipments are at 88,200 tonnes, down from 307,300 tonnes last year.

The CGC numbers do not include shipments by container.

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  • ed

    When the world starts telling you they don’t want something and there is too much of it around, you need to listen to those market signals. Paid summerfallow would be a much better use of tax payers money than subsidizing the market price down to zero, obviously.

    • Alex

      There are no subsidies for Lentils. As for summerfallow, other than doing it with cover crops, it is an agronomic disaster. This is a game to keep Local prices above the guaranteed Minimum Support Prices in India.

  • ed

    Yes summerfallow needs to be done right just as production should be done properly. Lentils have subsidize just like any other products that are produced in Canada. Agristability, AgriInvest, AgriRecovery, AgriInsurance and other Crop Insurance schemes are mostly two thirds paid for by the Federal and Provincial taxpayers of this land. There have been large payouts in all of those categories every year. Interest free cash advances are paid for entirely by the tax payers of the land. Again they are extensively used by producers. Young farmer rebates, govenment subsidized low interest loans, subsidized ag extention programs, subsidized seed development programs, subsidized University and Community College Ag. programs, subsidized public highways on which to transport products to and from your farms, subsidized public school and healthcare programs that help, thus far at least, service remoter rural ag. communities, and the list goes on and on. If the cost of all that was bourne by the lentil producer he or she would need 5-8 times the going price / bushel to break even. No subsidies you say? Depends how you look at it I suppose. Rose coloured glasses do help.

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