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The Economic Times

Tur and chana prices rule 15% to 20% below MSP, expected to decline further

Pune: Tur and chana prices have fallen 10 per cent to 15 per cent below the minimum support price (MSP) set by the government and are expected to decline further as harvest and subsequent market arrivals gather momentum.

Traders said only strong government procurement operations can help tame a further fall in prices.

Due to erratic monsoon rainfall in 2019, India has allowed the import of 400,000 tonnes of urad to control domestic retail prices, which had crossed Rs 100/kg. On the other hand, there is a strong subdued trend in prices of pulses including tur and chana, with their harvests slowly trickling into the markets.

Tur and chana harvests have been delayed by three to four weeks due to prolonged post-monsoon rainfall, although there is no supply crunch due to bigger impending crop coupled with large stocks held by the Central government.

Presently, prices of whole tur with skin at Latur market in Maharashtra are Rs 48/kg to Rs 49/kg as against the MSP of Rs 58/kg.

“This is the price of tur with some moisture content, while the price of good quality tur is about Rs 51/kg. The arrival pressure is expected to increase from February 1, when the prices may decline further by about Rs 2/kg to Rs 3/kg,” said Nitin Kalantry, a processor of pulses from Latur.

Traders expect an increase in the per-acre yield of tur in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and other southern states, while tur yields are likely to decline in Madhya Pradesh, where November rains damaged the crop.

The government of Karnataka has geared up to procure tur and has announced a bonus of Rs 300/quintal above the MSP declared by the Central government. The government of Maharashtra has started registering farmers who want to participate in its procurement operations. However, the non-BJP government in the state may have to follow up strongly with the Central government to ensure timely procurement by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (Nafed), trade experts said.

Gram (chana) farmers too may not be able to get remuneration according to the MSP as the country is staring at a bumper harvest starting next month. The area sown under gram was over 10.5 million hectares, which is about 10 per cent higher than in the previous year. The total area sown under rabi pulses till January 15 was 15.7 million hectares. Against an MSP of Rs 48.75/kg, chana prices are ruling at Rs 36/kg to Rs 37/kg.

Along with MSP procurement, traders expect the government not to liquidate its stocks at harvest time.

“We have seen aggressive selling by Nafed in recent weeks, which may put further pressure on pulse prices,” said Kalantry.
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