Rumour India may ban crop
GRAIN trade speculation is rife that India is to ban all imports of pulses into the country.
One grain trader sent a message that the Indian Government would place the ban on all pulse imports within two days.
Grain Producers Australia president Andrew Weidemann said the same grain trader correctly tipped the industry off about Indian tariffs on chick peas last December.
One Australian grain trader said there had been a lot of “chatter” in the pulse trade in the past few days but nothing concrete had emerged.
India has publicly made known its intention to double Indian growers’ income by 2020 from 2015 levels.
The speculation also comes in the lead-up to government elections in May next year.
GPA director Andrew Earle said he had spoken with Austrade in India on Thursday afternoon regarding speculation of a ban.
“It could be true,” Mr Earle said.
“We’ve heard the rumours, but there’s no evidence yet.
“It really doesn’t make a difference, in the shorter term, because there’s no trade anyway.”
Mr Earle said the Indian chickpea market was worth $1.1 billion to Australian growers in 2016.
He said the suggestion of increased tariffs, or export bans, were “politically motivated”.
“Nothing would surprise me, but as soon as India has a monsoon or a bad season, I’d expect any ban would lift.”
Mr Earle said India had last week introduced a 7 per cent subsidy to incentivise its local farmers to export chickpeas.
A spokesman for Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the Australian Government had not been informed by the Indian government of any import ban on pulses.
After India slapped tariffs on imported pulses late last year, Mr Littleproud said he had won an assurance from Indian officials that Australian farmers would be given warning if future tariffs were to be introduced.
SPECULATION: The Indian Government may impose a ban on all imports of pulse crops in the coming days.