Canada Markets

India's Pulse Prices Strengthen

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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Commodity Online reports that India's chickpea prices, both wholesale and retail, have risen 10% to 15% in the past 10 days, pulling other pulses 5% to 7% higher, despite the ongoing winter harvest. This follows a downtrend in prices seen over the past three months while, as a result, farmers are also reported to be holding product back from the market and further tightening supply chains.

As well, the Economic Times reports that India's pulse prices have advanced 34.45% in March 2016 over March 2015, while the inflation rate has been in double-digit territory since January 2015 when the rate hit 12.56% and reached a monthly high of 58.09% in November of 2015.

This news comes in advance of Thursday's Statistics Canada Principal Field Crop Areas report, with the likelihood that record planted acres of both peas and lentils in Canada will be forecast at record levels for the upcoming crop year. The current government forecasts indicate that acres seeded to dry peas will increase 14% to 4.2 million areas, while lentil acres will increase 12.6% to 4.44 million acres. One industry insider has suggested we will see 5 million acres seeded to each crop.

News sources in India also released a government statement on Monday indicating that private traders have imported 5.5 million metric tons of pulses in 2015-16, which is 22%, or 1 million metric tons, higher than imported in 2014-15. Record imports, government intervention over the crop year and a forecast for a favorable monsoon season in 2016 (105% of the long-term average) continue to fail to cool this market, which is expected to result in some pulse prices continuing to trend higher over the next few weeks or months.

Daily Statpub bids show prairie pulses nudging higher from last look in the previous week. Yellow peas are bid at $13.15/bushel on average delivered to Saskatchewan plants, roughly 55% higher than the year-ago bid and below the $14.07/bu high reported as recently as mid-March. Large green lentils are bid at $76.06/cwt, roughly 82% higher than year-ago levels and the highest level reported to-date, while reds are indicated to average $45.28/cwt, roughly 36% above year-ago levels.

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