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Rains Hit Output: Millers seek urad, green peas imports

Urad prices are 30 per cent above the minimum support price of ₹70-80 a kg.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 10, 2020, 09.59 AM IST
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They say 40-50 per cent of kharif urad is damaged while green peas output is likely to be down by 10 per cent because of rains.
Millers and traders of pulses want the Centre to open the import of urad and green peas to ensure availability and stable prices at home, as late autumn rains have hit output.

They say 40-50 per cent of kharif urad is damaged while green peas output is likely to be down by 10 per cent because of rains.

Urad prices are 30 per cent above the minimum support price of ₹70-80 a kg, while green peas has doubled in a year to ₹110 a kg.

“We have requested the government to remove quantitative restriction on import of urad and green peas,” said Bimal Singh Kothari, vice-chairman, Indian Pulses and Grains Association. “This year, there is a 15-20 lakh tonne shortfall in urad crop and it is a long way till the new crop comes in September. There is a domestic demand and hence government should allow imports.”

Green peas production in the country was roughly 50,000 tonnes with annual imports at 250,000 tonnes, said Kothari. The US and Canada are the key suppliers of green peas, which is popularly used in vegetables. Kothari said in case the government does not relax quantitative restrictions, then they should extend the current deadline for urad import by two months to May 31. In December last year, the government had increased the import quota of urad to 400,000 tonnes from 150,000 tonnes for 2019-20, and set the deadline for import at March 31. Kothari said with domestic production of yellow peas and green peas negligible and demand being met through imports, the consumer should get his choice of pulses at affordable rates. “We realise the government wants the consumption of chana to increase, of which there are huge stocks currently in the country. But the consumer should be given an option on what he wants,”said Kothari. Overall pulses production in 2019-20 is seen a tad lower than government estimate of 23.6 MT compared to the target of 26 MT, says the industry. Since April-November, India has imported 2.2 million tonnes of pulses, including tur, moong, urad and peas this year, and the industry expects total imports to touch 3 million tonnes in 2019-20.

Analysts expect prices of urad to remain firm until March, when a small crop in AP will be harvested.

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