Trade sees India’s lentils imports rising to over a million tonnes this fiscal

India’s imports of lentils (masur) are set to rise this year on higher consumption as the production of other key pulses such as tur, moong and urad is seen lower on erratic weather. Based on the current import trend, the trade estimates India’s lentils purchases would rise by over a million tonnes this financial year over previous year’s 8.58 lakh tonnes. Masur imports from April till now have already crossed the half a million tonne mark. Another 1.5-2 lt are on the way. We expect the masur imports to cross over a million tonnes this financial year, said Bimal Kothari, Chairman, India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) the apex trade body. India’s 2022-2023 lentil production was over 15.8 lt, a third of the forecast released in May, over 12.69 lt, last year. The import of lentils reached 11.16 liters in 2020-2021, but it decreased to 6.67 lt in 2021-2022 and is starting to recover. “Masur prices in the mandi are hovering at ₹ 61-62/kg MSP  and there is no reason to worry  as supply is regular.” 

 Removal of US tariffs 

  India imports lentils mainly from Canada and Australia, and the latest move to remove countervailing duties on imports from the US could widen supply. “The US produces more  green lentils, while  red lentils are widely consumed in India. Prices are  high in the US. We need to see if the US is competitive in terms of red lenses, Kothari said. Canada’s production this year was slightly lower at 1.2 million tonnes, compared to 1.3 million tonnes in Australia, where  harvest begins in November. IGrain India’s Rahul Chauhan  said the removal of  US lentil duties could help Indian imports as  consumption of other  pulses increases as production of important pulses such as tur, moong and urad is seen to increase. About 2.5 million tons of lentils are produced in the United States, of which about 60 percent are green lentils. Along with India, Turkey is the main buyer of American red lentils. Modal prices of masur in mandi in the  producing areas of Uttar Pradesh  hovered around ₹ 5,900-7,050/- in the last two days and ₹ 5,100-6,200 in Madhya Pradesh. Retail prices of Masur Dal were around ₹ 92.33/kg in UP and ₹ 90.75/kg in M.P. on Friday, informs the Ministry of Consumer Protection.

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