Impact of rift in India-Canada relations, drop in pulse imports after PM Trudeau’s statement

Increase in the price of lentil dal: Like arhar and dal, the prices of lentil pulses are also seeing an increase. After which the government made it mandatory for traders to declare their stock of pulses in the first week of September. India imports pulses from Canada extensively. But after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations that Indian agencies in Canada were involved in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Najjar, Canada’s dal sales to India have slowed. Traders there fear that the Indian government may impose restrictions on trade, which has led to a drop in sales.

India depends on imports for pulses.

In India, lentils are used to make dal curry, a nutritious dish. India depends on import of pulses for consumption. India imports pulses from Canada extensively. According to a Reuters report, traders fear that the two governments may impose restrictions on trade due to tensions between the two countries. Nitin Gupta, senior vice-president of Olam Agri India, said such concerns are troubling traders. However, a senior government official said India has no such plans and the government has not given any such instructions to importers. Canada is also not taking any decision on its part that will worsen the relationship between the two countries.

Purchase of pulses from Canada decreased.

India has imported large quantities of pulses from Canada in 2023 following a decline in pulses production. Traders say that no instance of cancellation of imports has come to light till date. After the reduction in the production of masul dal, the prices are seeing an increase. But after the Canadian Prime Minister’s statement, prices for supplies from Canada have fallen 6 percent to $770 per metric ton. In 2022-23, Canada was the largest supplier of pulses to India. As of March 31, 2023, India had imported 4.86 lakh metric tonnes of pulses from Canada worth $370 million. Which was more than 50% of India’s total imports. Between April and July this year, the import of misool pulses from Canada increased by 420% compared to last year.

Increased purchases from Australia

2.4 million metric tons of pulses are consumed in India every year. While the domestic production is only 1.2 million metric tons which is met by imports. However, after the decrease in the purchase of pulses from Canada, the purchase from Australia has increased.

There is pressure on the government.

The prices of pulses have increased. With Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, it will be very difficult for India to ignore Canada’s pulse. Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs recently said that India is going to increase import of pulses from Canada so that pulses are available to consumers at reasonable prices during the festive season.

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