Market Update: Chickpeas

Pulse markets internationally started the Easter break with an anxious note of “strong rumors” that India is considering imposing a complete ban on pulse imports. The rumour started after a recent meeting between India’s Petroleum Minister and a domestic Pulse Processors group.

Since then, there has been much “chatter” in the market on this matter; however, there is no official announcement on a complete ban. Further, there are arguments in the market that India will not go down that path as it could violate World Trade Organisation rulings.

What is clear is that there’s a very tense political situation in India right now. About 52% of the population is directly or indirectly involved in the agriculture industry. It’s all about winning votes around Indian elections and a national election next year.

Traders in Australia are mostly of the opinion that the rumor will not make a difference in the market, at least in the shorter term as last year's imposition of a 50% import duty on peas, 30% on lentils, and 60% on both Desi and Kabuli chickpeas has already done most of the damage on trade. There is no trade between India and Australia so far this calendar year anyway, with the exception of a tiny 700 metric tonnes in January, based on Pulse Australia data.  

Many believe the damage lies in future months as there is a general lack of import confidence within importers of our alternate markets including Pakistan and Bangladesh. Importers are not bullish and are on stand-by mode for any new crop business.

If you are thinking of planting chickpeas this season and looking for various marketing options, please contact our team on 1300 281 228 for information on new crop hectare contracts.