CNS Canada –– Pulse crop prices in Western Canada are holding steady while questions remain about the future of trade with India.
India in November imposed a 50 per cent import tariff on peas and in December a 30 per cent tariff was placed on chickpeas and lentils. The tariffs were imposed overnight and left the pulse industry worldwide displeased.
Australia has managed to reach an agreement with India in regards to future tariffs. The country’s Agriculture Minister David Littleproud travelled to India this week to meet with government officials to discuss the country’s recent import tariffs. The Indian government agreed to provide notice in the future to the Australian grains industry before imposing any tariffs.
While there has been no news in Canada in regards to developments with India about import tariffs, AGT Food and Ingredients CEO Murad Al-Katib did say last week he believes the pulse crop trade with India will continue.
He stated, “at the end of the day this will get resolved over time because the long-term fundamentals state clearly India will continue to be a net importer of pulses.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to travel to India from Feb. 17 to 23. The state visit, announced Monday, will include participation in several business roundtables to promote further trade and investment between the countries.
There was no mention specifically of the pulse industry or current import tariffs in the government’s announcement.
In an op-ed article released Tuesday, Pulse Canada CEO Gordon Bacon said India’s government needs to develop “a transparent system that will help farmers and trade predict changes, up or down, to India’s import duties.”
The timeline to put such a system in place is “very tight,” he said, as “farmers around the world are already making their 2018 planting decisions.”
As of Tuesday, pulse crop prices over the past week in Western Canada for the most part have held steady, with limited varieties seeing price changes, according to information from the Prairie Ag Hotwire.
Laird No. 1 lentils are sitting at 26-36 cents/lb. while Eston No. 2 lentils are at 23-28 cents/lb. Kabuli nine-millimetre chickpeas are hanging out at 55-65 cents/lb. Yellow peas are sitting at $5.75-$7.25 per bushel.
French No. 1 lentils rose over the week by six cents to 31-38 cents/lb. Green peas as well saw an increase over the week of 25 cents in some locations to $7-$8.50 per bushel.
— Ashley Robinson writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Glacier FarmMedia company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.