Another blow for pulse crop demand, as India slaps 30 percent tariff on lentils and chickpeas

India has added two more pulses to the list of crops facing steep import tariffs into the country.

The Indian government announced a 30 percent import duty on red lentils and chickpeas on Thursday, which takes effect immediately. It’s expected product already on its way to India will be subject to the duties upon arrival.

“Production of Chana (chickpeas) and Masoor (lentils) are expected to be high during the forthcoming Rabi season, and cheap imports, if allowed unabated, are likely to adversely affect the interest of the farmers,” said a statement from the Indian government.

This comes a month after India’s government announced a 50 percent import duty on peas, while also raising its tariff on wheat from 10 to 20 percent and its soybean levy from 30 to 45 percent.

India also ended its fumigation exemption for pulse crops coming from Canada earlier this fall.

“Pulse Canada continues to engage closely with the Government of Canada on this issue, and on the fumigation requirement India has imposed. The goal is to have science-based and predictable trade with India,” said Saskatchewan Pulse Growers in a memo to its members on Thursday.

“The decisions being made by the Government of India continue to cause undue harm to Canada’s hardworking farmers, who are a safe and reliable global supplier of pulses.  We remain deeply concerned with these decisions, and the Government of Canada is making every effort to work constructively with India to resolve this important issue,” said federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, in a statement to RealAgriculture.

Canada is India’s largest supplier of pulses and India is Canada’s largest market for peas and lentils accounting for more than 40 per cent of Canada’s red lentil and pea exports. India imported around 900,000 tonnes of lentils from Canada last year.

Hear Shaun talk to Chuck Penner of LeftField Commodity Research on how this lentil tariff impacts current lentil bids and what it could mean for acres in 2018. 

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