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India to import 35% more tur dal at 1.2 mn tonnes to check prices

"We consume around 44-45 lakh tonne in India. Every year, we have to import. This year, obviously, we have to import more. We will import 12 lakh tonne in the current fiscal," Kumar said

India to import 35% more tur dal at 1.2 mn tonnes to check prices

Press Trust of India New Delhi

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Facing a sharp rise in tur prices amid lower production, India will import 12 lakh tonne of the pulse in the current fiscal, up by 35 per cent from the last year, to boost domestic availability and contain price rise.
"Tur is giving us trouble. All-India average retail price of tur is up by 25 per cent to Rs 128.66 per kg, when compared to last year's level. But it will start cooling down after import begins," Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said in a media briefing.
The issue in tur (pigeon peas) is lower domestic production. The country's tur production remained lower at 30 lakh tonne in the 2022-23 crop year (July-June) against 39 lakh tonne last year.
"We consume around 44-45 lakh tonne in India. Every year, we have to import. This year, obviously, we have to import more. We will import 12 lakh tonne in the current fiscal," Kumar said.
So far, the country has imported 6 lakh tonne of tur. Imports are undertaken from Myanmar and East African countries. The crop in East African countries will start arriving in August, so the domestic prices will cool down, he added.
The country imported 8.9 lakh tonne during the 2022-23 fiscal.
To check the prices of tur, the secretary said the government has taken several measures. The stock limit imposed on traders, millers and importers on June 2 has helped bring down the prices of tur.
"From the day the stock limit was imposed, there is a downward trend in prices," he noted.
The government has also decided to offload 50,000 tonne from the buffer stock in the market, and this will also ease pressure on the rates, Singh added.
Besides tur, the secretary said there is about a 7.22 per cent increase in the all-India average retail price of urad at Rs 111.77 per kg on June 28, when compared to the last year. The correction will start happening with supplies improving from Myanmar.
"Myanmar was hoarding urad, and now it cannot hold for long because of the rains out there. They have to sell it to India as no other country consumes this pulse. Our crop will also arrive, and prices will come down," he said.
Moong prices have also risen by 7.07 per cent year-on-year to Rs 109.23 per kg on June 28. However, the prices will come down further because of bumper production expected in Madhya Pradesh, he added.
In masoor dal, the secretary said prices have remained lower by 5 per cent year-on-year at Rs 91.78 per kg on June 28.
"This is because, unlike tur, our domestic production increased to 16 lakh tonne but lower than domestic consumption of about 22 lakh tonne. We still need to import about 6 lakh tonne," Singh said.
India imports masoor dal from Canada and Australia, where the crop is expected to be higher than the previous year. So, masoor supply is available, and the domestic prices will come down further, he said.
The country imported 11 lakh tonne of masoor dal in 2022-23.
In the case of chana, the secretary said out of the total pulses, about 46 per cent is chana consumption in India, while 10 per cent is tur, urad, masoor dal and other pulses. Chana prices have remained stable throughout the year.
He also mentioned that pulses should be seen in a holistic manner. Pulses are price sensitive, and their preferences differ in different parts of the country.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jun 30 2023 | 7:49 PM IST

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