Chana prices may hold as the new crop hits mandis in Karnataka, Maharashtra.

The new chana crop has hit mandis in Karnataka and Maharashtra and prices are likely to be tightly controlled by the minimum support price (MSP). Area under chana has declined by 102.90 lakh hectare (lh) this rabi season compared to a decline of 109.73 lh in the area sown in Rajasthan, Karnataka and Gujarat. However, the main producing states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra saw an increase in area, according to the latest data from the agriculture ministry. Business sources said the downturn in the region and heavy rains are likely to affect production, which may be lower than last year. Indian Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) President Bimal Kothari said it was too early to estimate the size of the crop and a clearer picture would emerge in the next two weeks. “North India has received rain recently and the cold wave should help crops in the region.

Harvest conditions good

Modal price of new chana crop. Most bids are between ₹5,700 and ₹6,200 per quintal in mandis in Karnataka and Maharashtra region. Chana MSP for rabi marketing season 2024-25 is ₹ 5,440. Kothari said Chana prices are likely to remain at current levels as the government has allowed duty-free import of yellow peas till March 31, 2024, which would help curb prices. Suresh Agrawal, president of All India Dal Mills Association, Indore, said growing conditions look good in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, but the weather in the coming weeks will be key. The arrival in Madhya Pradesh will start by the end of February, he said, adding that the total crop could be down by 2-5 percent.

Igrain India’s Rahul Chauhan said Chana’s outlook depends on how much government agencies acquire this year. “Crop yield in Karnataka and Maharashtra was a bit worried as soil moisture was poor due to sporadic rains. Overall, Chana production is likely to be less than last year as the area under cultivation has decreased. Crop condition looks good in MP, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Chauhan said prices are likely to remain stable above the MSP level.

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