Chana Leads Other Pulses in their North­ward Price March

Low sup­ply, high de­mand lift chana prices by 15-20% in past 10 days

The Economic Times - - Commodities Plus -

Ram Sahgal & Jayashree Bhos­ale

Mum­bai | Pune: Chana is now go­ing the tur dal way, with whole­sale prices hav­ing risen by15% to 20% in the past 10 days, driv­ing up prices of all other pulses by 5% to 7%. De­spite fore­cast of good mon­soon, traders say con­sumers will have to pay a hefty price for pulses and sugar for the next 4-5 months till the kharif crop ar­rives.

Chana, a win­ter crop, is cur­rently be­ing har­vested across the country. How­ever, ar­rivals in main pro­ducer states like Ra­jasthan

and UP have not been sat­is­fac­tory. “Mar­kets were closed for many days over the past one month due to many hol­i­days re­duc­ing the sup­ply while the de­mand shot up due to many re­gional fes­ti­vals,” said Nitin Kalantry, one of the largest dal millers of Ma­ha­rash­tra.

As chana be­comes ex­pen­sive, it can im­pact prices of sweets and savouries.

Traders fear that with the in­creas­ing gap be­tween the price of chana and im­ported yel­low peas, which re­place chana in vary­ing de­grees in be­san, prices of yel­low peas can in­crease by .₹ 3/kg to .₹ 4/ kg.

Ex-mill chana dal prices in Latur, shot up to .₹ 72/kg on Satur­day com­pared to .₹ 60/kg 10 days ago. With an av­er­age dif­fer­ence of 30% in ex-mill prices and re­tail prices, the re­tail prices of chana dal can go up to .₹ 90/kg in the next few weeks from the cur­rent level of .₹ 70/kg.

The fu­tures mar­ket is clearly sig­nalling a steady rise in chana and sugar prices. In­ter­est­ingly, the ar­rival of chana in man­dis has de­pressed the front month (May) con­tract price, which traded at a 0.7% dis­count to the spot price of .₹ 5,220 a quin­tal (100 ki­los).

How­ever, from June, the fu­tures mar­ket was trad­ing at a pre­mium to Wed­nes­day’s spot mar­ket price. This in­di­cates that the cur­rent crop sup­ply, es­ti­mated by the govern­ment to be 14 lakh tonnes be­low ex­pec­ta­tions, will be squeezed, con­se­quently rais­ing prices un­less the govern­ment acts in time to meet de­mand.

In June, the fu­tures mar­ket in­di­cates that the whole­sale price of chana will be .₹ 5,266 a quin­tal, in July .₹ 5,362 while in Au­gust, .₹ 5,448.

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