Economy News

Pulses prices to soften from next month on robust imports, kharif arrival: Govt

Khare asserted that the government would take all necessary measures to boost domestic availability and keep retail prices under check.

Price of pulses, which had been at elevated levels over the last one year, are likely to soften from next month due to imports and prospects of higher kharif crops, Nidhi Khare, secretary, ministry of consumer affairs said on Friday.

“From July onwards, prices of tur, urad and chana which are at the elevated levels are likely to soften,” Khare said at a briefing. She said that prices of tur, chana and urad dals have been stable in the last six months but at a high level while the prices of moong and masor dal varieties are comfortable.

“We are expecting a good monsoon, more than average rainfall. We anticipate the area under pulses to improve significantly. Farmers will put more area under crops considering high market prices. Market sentiments will also improve,” she said.

Khare asserted that the government would take all necessary measures to boost domestic availability and keep retail prices under check. The department of consumer affairs also directed traders, importers, millers and stocks of pulses to declare the stocks of these items from April 15.

Officials said that the consumer affairs ministry is in constant touch with global suppliers to boost imports as well as domestic retailers, wholesalers and big retail chains to ensure there is no hoardings.

Retail inflation in pulses and products category rose to 17.14% last month on year against 16.84% in April, while the arhar variety of pulses reported the highest price rise of 32.1%.

Rise in prices for urad and gram split varieties of pulses rose by 14.06% and 14.84% on year. The price rise in lentils or masor variety of pulses was in the negative zone in April due to higher imports.

Imports of pulses from Africa and Australia are expected to augment supplies, Khare said. India imported nearly 0.8 million tonne (MT) of tur and 0.6 MT of urad in the last financial year. According to estimates, India imports about 15% of its pulses consumption.

The duty free imports of tur, urad and masor (lentils) have been extended till March 31, 2025.

The government last month removed import duty on desi chana while extending import duty exemption on yellow peas till October, which is aimed to curb the spike in chana prices. The price rise in chana has been in the double digit since October 2023.

The government is also discussing with various state governments to streamline procurement and focusing on non-traditional pulses growing states like Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh that are catching up in pulses output.

Currently, under the price support system, the pulses are purchased from the farmers for the creation of a buffer and mostly minimum support price (MSP) operations are carried out in the biggest producing states including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat.

According to the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh account for more than two-third of the total tur production and 25 districts contribute 60% of the output of pulses.

Earlier this year, cooperation minister Amit Shah had stated that the country is aiming to achieve self-sufficiency in the pulses production by 2027.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *