Market Update - Pulses

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In the Desi Chickpeas market we saw a rebound in prices last weekend, with delivered packer prices ranging from A$600/mt to mid-600’s, mainly supported due to news of the Pakistan government ceasing issuing import permits to a number of countries. By unofficial reports, Pakistan will stop issuing import permits for all pulses with Indian origin. It will also stop issuing import permits for Kabuli and Desi Chickpeas with Burmese (Myanmar) origin.

Pakistan’s main source markets for pulses come from Russia, Turkey, Canada, Myanmar, USA and Australia. Pakistan was Australia’s second largest destination for pulses last season with trade valued at A$465 million. Pakistan is a regular importer of agricultural food commodities including chickpeas, lentils and canola oilseeds. Pulses are a major staple food in Pakistan, and on average, each Pakistani consume 6-7 kg of pulses annually. Chickpeas and red lentils are the two most commonly consumed varieties. With the Burmese origin product restricted by import permits, Australian origin pulses could substitute for the excess Pakistani demand.

On the other side of the border, India Rabi season (harvesting Mar/Apr/May) continues to show record values. India's agriculture department already have kabuli and desi chickpea seeded area at a record 10.623 million hectares as of January 19 and are optimistic kabuli plantings will show a bigger percentage gain than for the entire crop. If yields are average, India could produce a record 9.71 million metric tons (mmt) of all classes of chickpeas, compared to 9.33 million last year and the recent five year average of 8.416 million. Local pulse prices across India are now 20-40% below the minimum support price (MSP) for the previous season. Trades are expected to remain bearish this season, as farmer registrations for the MSP still continue in Maharashtra (Central West India).