Mumbai, October 21st, 2015: India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), the apex body for the pulses and grains industry in India, today held a press conference in Mumbai to address the growing concerns of spiraling prices of pulses. Pravin Dongre, Chairman – IPGA speaking at the conference said, “Private Indian importers, in view of the new crop in Canada and Australia as well as scarcity in India, have contracted 25 lakh tons of pulses to arrive between October 15th and January 31st. Out of these 25 lakh tons of pulses, 2.5 lakh tons of pulses have already arrived at Mumbai port in the last five to seven days. We expect the prices of pulses to drop appreciably in a next few weeks on the back of large quantities of pulses scheduled to arrive at Indian ports.”

The IPGA officials, referring to the recent decision to withdraw the stock limit exemption for imported pulses, appealed to the Government of India to reverse this decision in light of the large amount of stocks that are due to arrive at Indian ports. IPGA also appeals to all State Governments to give importers, millers, wholesalers and retailers atleast 60 to 90 days to liquidate currently held stocks and achieve the mandated stock limits. Further enforcement of the stock limit will hamper the imports and lead to severe scarcity of pulses in the country.

Mr. Bimal Kothari, Vice Chairman – IPGA said, “As the apex body for the pulses and grains industry in India, we are concerned about the spiraling prices of pulses over the last few months. However, there are reports of excellent harvests of pulses in Australia, Canada and other exporting countries and stocks will start arriving at Indian ports in the next couple of weeks helping ease the current situation.”

India has had two consecutive monsoons with deficient rainfall which has led to lower production of pulses. In 2014, the delayed and deficient monsoons hampered the kharif production and unseasonal rains and hail storms in April 2015 affected the Rabi production. The total production for the year 2014-15 stood at 172 lakh tons vis-à-vis 192.5 lakh tons in 2013-14 – a loss of 20 lakh tons.In 2015 too, the cultivation has been hit by a deficient monsoon and the Kharif production, as per the 1st advance estimates (released on Sept. 16th) of the Ministry of Agriculture, stands at 55.60 lakh tons vis-à-vis the targeted production of 70.50 lakh tons, an initial deficit of around 15 lakh tons.

The Weather Watch Group’s report of October 9th shows that the  cumulative  rainfall  in  the  country  during  the  post  monsoon  season  from Oct. 1st to 7th, was 44% lower than the Long Period Average. This could very well mean that the available table moisture, which is critical for the Rabi crop, may not be enough for a good Rabi crop. The shortfall in production in 2014-15 was compounded with crop losses in some of the major producing countries like Canada, Myanmar and Africa. These deficits and losses caused a severe shortage in the domestic as well as international markets causing price inflation globally and in India as well. The prices of Tur and Urad have spiraled due to the international and domestic shortages but a number of other pulses like Yellow Peas (@ Rs. 25 per kg), Chana (@ Rs. 50 per kg) and Masoor (@ Rs. 65 per kg) are available at affordable prices.

IPGA is ready to work with the Government of India as well as Research Institutes in any capacity and work towards increasing production and yield of pulses. A concerted policy framework is required to increase production in India to become self-sufficient and IPGA is willing to extend full support and cooperation to the Government for creating this framework.
IPGA has always maintained that the demand of pulses has been increasing steadily over the years primarily due to growth in population and consumption fuelled by rising incomes in the middle income group. India has been importing pulses for over 37 years under OGL and the imports stood at 4 lakh tons about 25 years back and is expected to reach 55 lakh tons this year.

Mr. Hüseyin Arslan, President – Global Pulses Confederation (earlier known as CICILS IPTIC), speaking at the conference said, “India is an extremely important market for the global producers and there are enough stocks available to import. I am sure that the current situation will change shortly.”

India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), is the apex body of India’s pulses and grains industry & trade. Its membership encompasses market participants along the value chain. IPGA’s vision is to make Indian pulses and grains industry & trade globally competitive; and in so doing, help advance India’s food security and nutrition security. The IPGA enjoys the support of the Government of India, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (Department of Consumer Affairs) as well as National Associates and Global Pulses Confederation (formerly known as CICILS IPTIC) the world body for pulses trade.

IPGA’s aspirations are not just national but to play a leadership role in the region (mainly South Asia) and a dominant role in the global marketplace. In pursuance of its objectives IPGA will seek to address issues that impact production, productivity and marketability of pulses in the country. These include input management, improved agronomic practices, logistics (scientific storage and movement), procurement policy, and inclusion of pulses in Public Distribution System (PDS), to name a few. IPGA has over 270 members including Associations from across India taking the pan-India reach close to 10000 stakeholders.