India’s removal of tariffs unlikely to budge pea acres, but will support prices

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

India is nearly half-way through a six-week election period, and the government there is making sure it stays in the citizens’ good graces. That, in part, may have driven the decision by India to further extend a dropped tariff on imported peas out to October.

Chuck Penner, founder of Leftfield Commodity Research, says that India is doing what it can to keep food costs down for its citizens, and allowing sought-after pulse crops in tariff-free can help that.

What does it mean for Canadian farmers? That depends on where the now-tariff-free peas come from. Russia is a much larger player right now in the pea commodity market than they have been historically and Australia can also supply India. Still, Penner says that this extended tariff-free access through to harvest season is likely supportive for pea prices.

It’s likely too late for the news to have a huge impact on acreage decisions, as other agronomic factors, such as seed availability and crop rotation and timing, have likely locked in pea acres for the ’24 growing season; however, farmers could see some firmer prices for peas over the next few months. Unless China also enters the market looking for tonnage, Penner says a major run up in price is unlikely.

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