Canadian pulses can’t be all be in India’s basket: Penner

When thinking of Canadian pulse exports, most think of India. That thinking needs to evolve, says Chuck Penner, founder and grain market analyst for LeftField Commodity Research.

“A number of years ago we were getting all hot and bothered about massive volumes, and it was great business while it was there,” Penner says. “So we did so for about two or three years, we [had] massive volumes and the danger is, trying to look at [those] two years and saying that’s a trend. Two years doesn’t make a trend.”

He says the country has had numerous crop failures in the past, creating big demand for Canadian pulses to be shipped overseas. At the same time, the Indian government made a strategic decision to help support their own domestic production and part of that has been deterring imports through the addition of tariffs on imported products.

Though India has played a big role, Penner says the focus for Canadian production should shift to other countries, such as those around India.

“We are going to be moving peas into some of the surrounding countries, which may end up finding their way into India eventually, by hook or by crook, so we’re doing more business to some surrounding countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, and so on,” he adds.

Another country Penner points at is China. He says they’re buying anywhere from 80 to 85 per cent of Canadian peas at present and the pace of their purchases are at a record level. Penner adds he doesn’t see the Chinese market for our pulses slowing down anytime soon, due to the country using the product to supply its fractionation industry.

Listen to Chuck Penner of LeftField Commodity Research chat with RealAgriculture’s Jessika Guse at CropSphere all about pulse exports below:

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