Warra chick­peas scaled back

In­dian tar­iff lead­ing to mar­ket un­cer­tainty

Chinchilla News - - NEWS - Brooke Dun­can Brooke.Dun­can@chinchilla news.com.au

CHINCHILLA re­gion farm­ers will re­duce the quan­tity of fu­ture chick­pea crops as the In­dian tar­iff on the ex­port re­mains at 60 per cent.

The in­crease hit at the start of the month, im­pact­ing the Aus­tralian mar­ket which in 2016-17 ex­ported $1.1 bil­lion worth of chick­peas to In­dia.

Warra farmer Bren­dan Tay­lor said the tar­iff will af­fect the quan­tity of chick­peas he grows, but due to high prices in re­cent years, he doesn’t ex­pect it to be too prob­lem­atic.

“Our area will be scaled back prob­a­bly, as a re­sult of the In­dian tar­iff,” he said.

“At this point in time, it’s had a dra­matic im­pact on the ex­port… of chick­peas, but one thing you have to keep in mind is that largely, one of the largest rea­sons why the chick­pea price over the last four years or so has been so high, has been be­cause In­dia’s do­mes­tic pro­duc­tion has been very low due to drought.

“Aus­tralia did hap­pen to be in the right place at the right time to take ad­van­tage of that.”

Fel­low Warra farmer Jeff Bid­strup said he too would be re­duc­ing the size of his chick­pea crops in the fu­ture.

“We’ve re­duced the num­ber grow­ing this year be­cause of the un­cer­tainty,” Mr Bid­strup said.

“Price wise it’s dis­ap­point­ing but it’s not the end of the world, but the big­gest prob­lem is the un­cer­tainty and not know­ing, not hav­ing con­fi­dence that mar­ket forces will dic­tate the price next year, recog­nis­ing tar­iffs, and so forth, and po­lit­i­cal events will dic­tate the prices.”

AgForce grains pres­i­dent Wayne New­ton said it’s a com­mon theme.

“We’re cer­tainly hear­ing in­creas­ingly from grow­ers... we’re go­ing to prob­a­bly see a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in planted area now.

“We’re also hear­ing that there could be fur­ther po­ten­tial in­creases in tar­iffs from In­dia, it’s not nec­es­sar­ily over, and that’s adding to that un­cer­tainty.

“It’s just to­tally in­ter­nal

We’ve re­duced the num­ber grow­ing this year be­cause of the un­cer­tainty.

— Jeff Bid­strup

do­mes­tic pol­i­tics.”

Mr New­ton said since the ini­tial 20 per cent tar­iff was struck, no Aus­tralian chick­peas have gone to In­dia.

In a state­ment, Fed­eral Agri­cul­ture and Wa­ter Re­sources Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud was said to con­tinue to make rep­re­sen­ta­tions to the In­dian gov­ern­ment re­gard­ing the tar­iff.

“Chick­pea ex­ports to In­dia have in­creased by 991 per cent over the past five years and our farm­ers have been get­ting world record prices for their pro­duce,” the state­ment said.

“The de­ci­sion by the In­dian Gov­ern­ment to in­crease chick­pea tar­iffs is dis­ap­point­ing but demon­strates why this gov­ern­ment is con­stantly fo­cussed on de­vel­op­ing new mar­kets, par­tic­u­larly to min­imise mar­ket dis­rup­tion.

“Since De­cem­ber 21 2017, the depart­ment has as­sisted Aus­tralian ex­porters to change the des­ti­na­tion of ex­ported lentils and chick­peas from In­dia to other im­port­ing coun­tries, in­clud­ing Nepal, Bangladesh, United Arab Emi­rates, Sri Lanka and Pak­istan. As of March 2, 2018, 60 con­sign­ments-seven lentils and 53 chick­peas-have been redi­rected.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

LO­CAL PRO­DUC­ERS: Warra farm­ers Jeff and Bren­dan Tay­lor on the fam­ily farm, in 2014.

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