In a bid to curb rising prices of pulses, state-owned MMTC has invited tender to import around 5,000 tonne of arhar.
According to sources, MMTC has invited bids for supply of 5,000 tonne of arhar or pigeon peas but the quantity of shipment would be increased depending on the price bids.
FE recently reported on the government’s decision to import pulses to boost domestic supplies. The cost incurred on imports would be met through the Price Stabilisation Fund, set up by the finance ministry last year.
According to the tender, the suppliers would have to import pigeon peas from Myanmar, Malawi or Mozambique from the current year’s stock. Both the technical and price bids are to be submitted by July 10 and the tender will remain valid till July 24.
A shipment of 2,500 tonne each would have to reach Mumbai and Chennai by September 15.
The retail prices of most pulses, including tur or arhar, have crossed R100 per kg mark in most of the key cities due to a decline in production by nearly 2 million tonne in 2014-15 crop year (July-June) mainly because of unfavourable weather conditions.
In a meeting of secretaries held earlier this month to review supply situation of pulses, state- owned trading firms like MMTC and STC had stated that “it would not be feasible to procure
30,000 tonne immediately and instead suggested import of pulses in smaller lots to test its response in the
Sources also said that MMTC had floated tender for 9,000 tonne of tur or arhar by Telangana government few weeks back. However, they got offer to supply only 3,000 tonne at $1,200 per tonne, which was considered too high and offer was not accepted.
A department of consumer affairs official said arhar prices have increased to R130 per kg and period of increase in prices may continue till August and will ease by September. Meanwhile, around nine states have informed that they have comfortable situation in pulses.
The country’s pulses production is estimated to have fallen to 17.38 million tonne (MT) in 2014-15 from 19.25 MT in the previous crop year, due to a deficient monsoon last year and unseasonal rains and hailstorms witnessed in March this year.