Lentil imports from Canada take a hit post diplomatic row

Imports between April and August from Australia increased to 3.11 LT, while imports from Canada stood at 2.8 LT despite lower price there.
For representational purposes (Photo | EPS)
For representational purposes (Photo | EPS)

NEW DELHI:  Diplomatic row with Canada has impacted pulses trade. Imports of lentils from Canada have come down drastically in the past few months. On the other hand, lentil imports from Australia have increased by three times despite higher prices there.

Diplomatic relation between India and Canada has plunged to new low after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused that India had role in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
This year, India has imported a total 6.10 lakh tonne lentils till August, and half of it came from Australia.

Imports between April and August from Australia increased to 3.11 LT, while imports from Canada stood at 2.8 LT despite lower price there. Last year in the same period, imports from Australia was only 1.02 LT.
Canada has been the largest exporter of lentils to India in the past few years. 

Last year, Canada exported a total of 4.85 LT of lentils to India, while Australia exported 3.55 LT, out of the total 8.58 LT imported by India. In 2020-21, Canada accounted for 9.09 LT of lentils out of India’s total import of 11.16 LT. This year import of lentils also increased from Turkey, Russia, and Singapore.

“There is no new forward trade agreement being done between two countries due to diplomatic uncertainty,” says Rahul Chauhan of Igrain, a commodity analyst.  “Whatever lentils we received till now was delivery of older trade agreements,” he adds.

The price of lentil reaching Mumbai port from Canada is Rs 6,400 per quintal, while the price increased to Rs 6,450 from Australia. Experts say lentil production in Australia is expected to be below normal due to adverse weather conditions caused by El Nino. El Nino is a pacific weather phenomenon which causes drought-like conditions in Australia.

India has been facing pulses shortages from last year. It led to a sharp price rise in pulses. The government has taken a number of measures like putting a limit on pulses stock, raiding on hoarders and encouraging import by waiving off import duty.

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