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India further restricts yellow pea imports

(File photo)

India has restricted yellow pea imports until the end of June, according to an official statement from the Indian government.

In a release to be published Wednesday in the Gazette of India, the Indian government restricted yellow pea imports from April 1 to June 30. In that time only one lakh tonne (100,000 tonnes) of yellow peas can be imported.

Yellow peas already imported are exempt from the new import restriction. Already imported, according to the release, includes shipments which arrived from April 1 to April 25 and those “backed by irrevocable commercial letter of credit and advance payment made through banking channel” before Wednesday.

Pea imports to India have been reduced since November 2017, when the Indian government applied a 50 per cent import tariff. Since then India has applied other import tariffs to pulse crops.

In December, a 30 per cent tariff was placed on imports of chickpeas and lentils. The chickpea tariff was raised to 40 per cent in February and 60 per cent in March. The duty for chickpeas only applies to the desi variety of chickpeas; Canada mostly grows the kabuli type.

Canada exported 2,018,300 tonnes of peas to India in 2016-17, according to data from the Canadian Grain Commission.

Over the past year, Canada has also faced other obstacles for importing pulse crops to India. Last summer, Canada’s long-standing exemption for fumigation of pulse crops before arrival in India was put in jeopardy.

Indian government regulations require pulses shipped to the country to be fumigated before arrival. The fumigation process doesn’t work well in cold weather and Canada doesn’t have the nematode pest India is trying to keep out through fumigation.

India had renewed the extensions regularly since 2004. Initially the renewals happened annually and later every six months. In July, the extension was renewed for three months, expiring Sept. 30. At the start of January the exemption was extended for another six months.

In February, during an official visit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was able to reach an agreement with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for co-operation over the fumigation issue. –– Commodity News Service Canada

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