Days after the Central government increased the import prices of chana and masoor, wholesale prices of daal have seen a steady rise in almost all the major wholesale markets in the state. A few days ago, the wholesale prices of chana was well below the government-declared minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 4,400 per quintal. This led to apprehensions over the fate of the commodity, as the country at large was expecting a bumper production early next year. While the export of chana was announced, the low import duty on the produce had turned India into a favourable destination for chana from various countries.
In view of this situation, trade sources had feared a further price slide once the commodity started hitting the market early in February. In response, on December 21, the Central government decided to increase the import duty of the commodity to 30 per cent, which the government hoped would help in arresting the free fall of the commodity’s price in the days to come. Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka are major producers of the commodity.
Latur and Akola, both major markets for chana, had reported Rs 3,600 to Rs 3,700 per quintal as the average trading price of the commodity in the days before the import duty was increased. A day after the Central government’s move, the average trading price of chana in the Latur market rose to Rs 4,150 per quintal, with traders hoping for further price correction in the days to come.
Another commodity which has received a boost from the recent government decisions was soyabean, the prices of which have also firmed up over the last few months. Following the Central government’s decision to increase the import duty on edible oils in November, prices of soyabean have increased by Rs 200-300 per quintal. At present, the traded value of the bean in Latur’s market is over the Rs 2,900 per quintal, which although below the MSP of Rs 3,050, is much better than the Rs 2,600-2,700 price mark seen in early November.
Pasha Patel, head of the state government’s committee for better realisation of farm produces, said they are hoping for further price increase as a further export subsidy in deoiled cake, the protein rich remains of the bean post oil extraction, is being proposed.
Meanwhile, the retail customer might find both his chana and masoor daal a bit costly as the increase of import duty has effected a Rs 6-7 per kg rise in prices in the wholesale markets. Nitin Nahar, a wholesale daal trader in Pune’s wholesale market said chana daal prices have increased from Rs 52-53 per kg to Rs 59-60 per kg. Retail prices subsequently will increase, and might touch the Rs 80 per kg in the days to come.