Mandi prices of tur dal is currently ruling 10% above the minimum support price (MSP) of `6,600 a quintal for 2022-23 crop season (July-June), given the decline in production caused by recent rains and wilt diseases reported from key growing region of Karnataka.
Traders say that mandis prices are expected to rise further next month, considered as peak arrival month for tur, a key kharif pulse variety, mostly grown in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Officials said recent rains and wilt disease have caused crop loss in Kalaburagi district which is known as the tur dal bowl of Karnataka along with Bidar and Yadgir.
According to a trader in Latur, Maharashtra, a hub of tur trade, mandi prices are expected to rise to around `7,400– `7,500 per quintal range in the next couple of weeks.
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Sources told FE that in anticipation of a production loss in range of 10%-12%, the government has decided to import a million tonne (MT) of tur dal in the 2023-24 through private trade while imports in the current fiscal is estimated around 0.76 MT.
Officials said that there are sufficient surplus production of tur in African countries for ensuring supplies to India.
The government recently extended policy of importing two varieties of pulses – tur and urad without any quantitative restrictions till March 31, 2024.
Under the bilateral agreement signed in 2021, India has committed to import 0.25 MT urad and 0.1 MT tur annually from Myanmar between 2021-22 and 2025-26. Same year, India entered into a MoU with Malawi for the annual import of 0.05 MT tur till 2025.
India signed an MoU with Mozambique for import of 0.2 MT of tur annually for five years when the retail prices of tur skyrocketed to Rs 200 a kg in 2016. This MoU was extended for another five years in September 2021.
Imports from all the three least developed countries are exempted from import duties.
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Inflation in pulses in December, 2022 was 3.89% on year while inflation in tur was 10.05%. Modal retail prices of tur according to department of consumer affairs data on Saturday rose to Rs 110/kg from Rs102/kg prevailed six month back.
As per the first advance estimate for food grain production for the 2022-23 crop year (July-June), tur production was estimated at 3.89 MT, a decline of 10.36% from 4,34 MT estimated in 2021-22 crop year.
Source said that in the second advance estimate of foodgrain production for 2022-23 to be released next year, the output of tur is likely to be revised down ward further.
The production of pulses in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) was at a record 27.69 MT, the country also imported 2.69 MT of pulses in FY22.
Out of the total production of pulses, chana (gram) has a share of 50% and the country largely imports tur, urad and masoor to meet the shortfall in domestic demand.