The government has a stock of close to 3.5 million tonnes of pulses, including a buffer of 1.4 million tonnes, said industry executives. They anticipate kharif production to be similar to the previous year at 9 million tonnes, which could lead to a fall in domestic prices when the new supplies arrive in the market in October-November.
The trade needs incentives to be competitive in the international market because Indian prices are too high, said Suresh Aggarwal, the president of the All India Dal Mill Association. A delegation of exporters will meet commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal in the coming days to present the demand, he said. India exported 2.70 lakh tonnes of pulses worth ₹1,679.98 crore in 2018-19. Algeria, the UAE, Sri Lanka, Turkey and the US are the major markets for Indian pulses such as chickpea, tur or arhar (pigeon pea), moong beans, urad (black matpe) and masur (lentil). Exporters sought incentives after shipments in the April-May period, the first two months of this fiscal year, fell 58.6% to 28,962 tonnes.
“An export incentive to the sector will help the trade offload the excess stock of chana dal, masoor dal and moong dal,” said Bimal Kothari, the vice president of the Indian Pulses and Grains Association. He said India was finding it tough to compete with Canada, East Africa, Myanmar, Dubai and Turkey in the export market. Prerana Desai, the head of research at Edelweiss Agri Services & Credit, said export of chana would be viable.
In 2017, India, the world’s biggest producer, consumer and importer of pulses, allowed exports to help farmers get remunerative prices and encourage cultivation of the crop