India Lifts Export Ban on Pulses
India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has removed the prohibition on export of all types of pulses.
The committee said in a statement overnight “Opening of export of all types of pulses will help the farmer to dispose of their products at remunerative prices and also encourage them to expand the area of sowing.”
The CCEA believes pulse production “will be sustained in the country and our import dependence on pulses will come down substantially. This is also likely to provide higher levels of protein to the population and work towards nutritional security. The integration with global supply chain is also likely to help our farmers in adopting good agricultural practices and better productivity.”
“Export of pulses would provide an alternative market for the surplus production of pulses…will also help the country and its exporters to regain their markets.”
India is the world’s biggest Pulse producer and importer, consuming about 24 million metric tons of pulses annually. Domestic production was an all-time high of 22.95 million tonnes in the 2016-17 crop year (July-June). Furthermore, India imported approximately 5 million tonnes in the last fiscal year and the government is also siting on 1.8 million tonnes of buffer stock. These statistics overwhelmingly show a huge surplus in India’s domestic market.
According to Bloomberg, prices of pulses in India have fallen in eight of the past 10 months this year. The wholesale price index (WPI) of pulses has fallen 32% from its level in November 2016, when it climbed to the highest since 2011.
The committee will further review the country’s export/import policy on pulses and consider measures such as quantitative restrictions, prior registration and changes in import duties depending on domestic production and demand, domestic and international prices and international trade volumes.