Mumbai: The Union government has floated a global tender for the import of 18,000 tonnes of pulses in April and May, to help tide over a shortage in the domestic markets where prices are ruling firm. The PEC Ltd. said it would buy 6,000 tonnes each of urad (black gram), moong (green gram) and tur (red gram) through the latest tender, which would close on 8 March. “This is a good move. They have no option other than to import pulses,” K.C. Bhartiya, president of Pulses Importers Association, told Reuters.
However, prices of pulses were unlikely to ease as international prices were also high, he said.
While the country consumes 16 million tonnes each year, the production has stagnated in the range of 12-14 million tonnes for several years.
Persistent shortfall led to a surge in prices of pulses in 2006 and wholesale prices of most commodities rose as much as 3,500 rupees per quintal.
In the fiscal year since April 2006, the Centre imported 4.5 million tonnes, Bhartiya said.
MMTC Ltd., another government trade agency, floated a global tender in late February to import 3,000 tonnes of urad, 2,000 tonnes of moong, 5000 tonnes of tur and 25,000 tonnes of dun peas.
A trader in Latur, an important centre for pulses trading, said the import quantities in these tenders was too small to influence local prices.