Representatives from the Canadian Pulse Industry are gathering in Regina this week for the Pulse and Special Crops Convention.
The conference attracts Importers and Exporters, as well as International customers from places like the U-S, India, and China.
Carl Potts is Executive Director for the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers.
He says the convention is a great opportunity to discuss key issues facing the industry, such as market access noting the situation in India is expected to be a key focus.
“There’s no doubt that lack of access to India currently due to prohibitively high tariffs is impacting returns to growers and volumes of exports overall.”
Last November, India applied a 50 % import tariff on peas, and then in December put a 30 % duty on imports of chickpeas and lentils. In March, India raised the chickpea tariff to 60 %. “As farmers normally do they react to market signals both when prices are rising as well as when prices are lower. So, pea and lentil acreage, in particular, has moved lower as expected, coming off some of those highs we’ve seen in the last few years.
Potts says producer returns are expected to be down about 40% this year as a result of India’s actions. He notes on the bright side Chickpea acreage is up to about 300 to 400 thousand acres nationally from 160 thousand last year.
India is one of the largest markets for Canadian pulses with 40% of our peas and lentils going to that country. Exports, however, have dropped off significantly with the country’s new tariffs.