Dispute between 2 Mozambican firms disrupts import of pulses to India, prices surge | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Dispute between 2 Mozambican firms disrupts import of pulses to India, prices surge

Jan 26, 2024 03:03 PM IST

A lower pigeon pea crop in 2022-23 is likely to increase India’s import demand and traders are now looking to Myanmar to fill the gap.

NEW DELHI: A dispute between two rival Mozambican trading firms has held up imports of pigeon peas (tur), a kind of pulse much in demand in India (and also in short supply), pushing up local prices and delaying shipments.

According to IGrain’s data, India imported 142,000 tonnes of pigeon pea from Mozambique between April and October 2023 (Bloomberg File)
According to IGrain’s data, India imported 142,000 tonnes of pigeon pea from Mozambique between April and October 2023 (Bloomberg File)

In December, the Indian Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) alleged that an influential exporter in the African nation was not allowing other firms to export pigeon peas to India, impacting availability.

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According to a Reuters report on January 19, a Mozambican court ruled that a shipment of pigeon peas belonging to the Export Trading Group (ETG), one of the biggest African commodity houses, cannot be shipped to India, the latest escalation in a long-running standoff that has alarmed Indian traders.

Also Read: Can India become self-sufficient in pulses?

On January 17, ETG went to court to halt the shipment of up to $60mn in pigeon peas and other foods from Mozambique, accusing authorities of helping a local trader illegally get hold of its assets. India has a long-term deal with Mozambique that commits the former to import up to 200,000 tonnes of pigeon pea.

A lower pigeon pea crop in 2022-23 is likely to increase India’s import demand and traders are now looking to Myanmar to fill the gap.

Pulses are the most common source of protein for most Indians. Rising protein-led prices can be significant driver of inflation and household expenses, even as the Narendra Modi government has imposed a slew of price-control measures ahead of a general election this spring.

“About 200,000 tonnes of pigeon pea are now stuck at their ports, which has caused a problem of availability,” said Rahul Chouhan of IGrain, a New Delhi-based firm.

According to IGrain’s data, India imported 142,000 tonnes of pigeon pea from Mozambique between April and October 2023.

In Latur, one of the largest markets for pigeon pea, wholesale prices were around 9,100 a quintal in the first week of January, which went up to 10,700 last week, IGrain’s data showed.

Widely consumed pulses or ‘dals’, a staple of most Indian diets, include pigeon pea (arhar or tur), black gram (urad), moong (green gram), split chickpeas (channa) and Bengal gram.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Zia Haq reports on public policy, economy and agriculture. Particularly interested in development economics and growth theories.

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