Pulse trade flow challenges, and the importance of functional gateways and corridors

While pulse market challenges haven’t been grabbing headlines as much lately, there are longer standing issues with chickpea, pea, and lentil movement than say, canola’s recent run-in with China.

Murad Al-Katib, CEO of AGT Foods, says that there are reasons to be optimistic on pulse markets heading in to 2020, even in the face of non-tariff trade barriers in big markets, such as India, and logistics challenges here at home.

RealAgriculture’s Jessika Guse spoke with Al-Katib at the recent GrainWorld event at Saskatoon, to discuss not just pulse trade flow changes, but also how Canada is taking steps to get “out of the penalty box” with China. “There are signals that we’re moving in the right direction,” he says.

There are other big picture challenges that Canada needs to focus on besides China, Al-Katib adds, saying there’s increased competition from Russia and Kazakstan, and logistics are pinch points here at home. China is investing heavily in “gateways and corridors,” he says, and Canada needs to be doing the same.

When it comes to India’s restrictions on pulse crops,  he says that the latest additions of quarantined weed seeds are hampering some lentils, by putting more risk on to the shipper than before. Though the restrictions are disheartening, Al-Katib says the crops there don’t look great, and the current planting season is being pushed later which may mean more farmers move to wheat or eventual pulse harvests will yield less. Both would be supportive of Canadian pulse movement into the region.

Hear more from Murad Al-Katib, here: 

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