India: How will it affect marketing peas off the combine?

All farmers are concerned about how markets have been adversely affected by tariff and fumigation restrictions placed on imports in to India.

Peas are of special concern. Markets are certainly roiled, but some new buyers have stepped in to take up some of the slack. Marlene Boesch of Mercantile Consulting Ventures was at the recent Pulse and Special Crops Convention at Regina, SK, where she spoke with Dale Leftwich about how we got to where we are and what we can expect for the fall. (Story continues below…)

Boersch says India is coming off of two dry years, followed by a bumper harvest. “India is basically closed to us. They still have their own domestic pulses they’re eating through. There’s no indication that the protectionist stand they have taken on the pulse side is going to be taken off any time soon,” she says.

Boersch suggests internal India politics is at work as well. “Also, it has a little bit to do with the election cycle, I would suspect, and so I wouldn’t count on India making a reversal on those policies for the coming year.”

Boersch continues,”That is highly problematic for us because they were the single biggest buyer of Canadian peas just a year ago. We have seen reductions, sizeable reductions in India, also in Bangladesh and Pakistan.” Combined, the reduction is probably about 1.3 million tonnes, year-to-date.

But even in light of all this Boersch says there is some good news. “Luckily we have seen some increases into some other markets, most notably China,” she says. There have also been some inroads made into the U.S.

What do things look like going for deliveries off the combine? Boersch says there will be sales but, “In the last several years…we have done very substantial forward sales programs into India and China so that when the fall came we were immediately in a shipping mode with peas which was wonderful for farmers, they could sell off the combine they could move product off the combine and that program I will expect to be much reduced because India is not participating in that whatsoever and it’s certainly smaller for China too.”

Boersch says she is not pessimistic on price when it comes to peas but the better opportunities will probably come in the new calendar year rather than this fall.

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