India drops its lentil tariff again

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Update, October 28, 2020: India has issued another extension to its lower lentil tariff. The Indian government says the 10 per cent levy on imports will stay in effect until December 31, 2020. It was scheduled to revert back to 30 per cent on October 31.

India has dropped its tariff on lentil exports once again, just weeks after letting a temporary reduction over the summer come to an end.

The government published a notice on September 17, 2020 saying it’s “in the public interest” to reduce tariffs on lentil shipments from 30 per cent to 10 per cent (plus a 10 per cent tax on that amount) until October 31, 2020.

There’s speculation the six-week temporary reduction is being driven by weather and harvest concerns in India.

India’s import levy on lentils from countries other than the U.S. was temporarily reduced by the same amount from early June until August 31, 2020. Strong demand, coinciding with the lower tariff, has resulted in a major increase in Canadian lentil exports to India this calendar year.

While it’s a limited window for Canadian exporters, the tariff reduction would cover exports ahead of Indian farmers’ rabi or winter planting season, which begins in November.

We’re awaiting confirmation on whether the reduction will apply retroactively to shipments that arrived after September 1.

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