Pulse weekly outlook: India’s tariff elimination has little effect on Canada

Green lentils. (Savany/iStock/Getty Images)

MarketsFarm — A temporary elimination of some import duties on three pulses currently has little effect on Canada, according to Mac Ross, director of market access and trade policy for Pulse Canada.

Earlier in mid-May, the Indian government ordered the suspension of tariffs on pigeon peas, mung beans and urad/black gram lentils until Oct. 31. The government’s reasoning for these changes are to combat inflation and bring stability in domestic food prices.

“Out of those three pulses, none of those are ones that Canada produces or exports,” Ross said.

However, he noted, red and green lentils can be used as substitutes for pigeon peas. These lentils still have their import duties.

“What we are looking for are pulse changes to allow for fewer restrictions on the pulses we care about,” Ross said. “A tariff reduction would be good news for Canada.”

Lentil stocks in India and Canada are tight, he said, with the latter at their lowest levels since 2016-17.

A major problem Canada has encountered in dealing with India has been a lack of stability in that country’s grain policies.

“We want to be a convenient supplier to them and help them meet their food security goals, but there’s no predictable policy. We don’t have an idea of what’s going to happen ahead of seeding,” Ross said.

— Glen Hallick reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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