India Extends Duty-Free Import of Yellow Peas by Four Months

India has decided to extend the timeline for duty-free imports of yellow peas by an additional four months until October 2024, as per an official notification.

This extension comes after the central government’s initial decision in early December to permit duty-free imports of yellow peas until March 2024, which was later extended until April and then June. These measures were taken to address the rising prices of pulses in the country.

Yellow peas, primarily imported from Canada and Russia, had initially faced a 50% duty implemented in November 2017. India, being a significant consumer and grower of pulses, relies on imports to meet a portion of its consumption needs.

The country’s pulse consumption includes varieties like chana, Masur, urad, Kabuli chana, and tur pulses.

In addition to extending the duty-free import period for yellow peas, the Indian government has previously undertaken measures such as extending stock limits on tur and urad dal until December 31 and revising stock holding limits for certain stakeholders. These steps were aimed at preventing hoarding and ensuring the continuous availability of pulses in the market at reasonable prices.

Despite these interventions and incentives provided to farmers, India’s dependence on pulse imports persists. Pulses imports nearly doubled in the 2023-24 financial year, reaching USD 3.74 billion. Although official figures are yet to be disclosed, estimates suggest that shipments exceeded 45 lakh tonnes in the just-concluded financial year, compared to 24.5 lakh tonnes the previous year.

To meet domestic demand and stabilize prices, the Indian government is exploring negotiations with new markets such as Brazil and Argentina for long-term contracts on pulses imports.

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