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India imposing 50 percent duty on peas and 20 percent duty on wheat

By: Kelvin Heppner

November 8, 2017

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In a move to support domestic prices after a bumper crop, India’s government has announced a 50 percent import duty on peas, while also raising its tariff on wheat from 10 to 20 percent.

The country’s Central Board of Excise and Customs issued an order on Wednesday seeking to “increase rate of basic customs duty on Peas, (Pisum sativum) from present Nil rate to 50 percent. (ii) increase rate of basic customs duty on wheat from 10 percent to 20 percent.”

Read the government’s notice here. (Serial number 37 refers to the wheat line in India’s duty schedule.)

Canada is India’s largest supplier of pulse crops, and India is Canada’s largest market for peas, accounting for more than 40 per cent of Canada’s pea exports. Sales of peas and lentils to India totalled more than $1.1 billion last year.

A spokesperson for Pulse Canada says the organization is consulting with the Canadian government on India’s policy change on peas.

Saskatchewan Pulse Growers also says it’s seeking further information and clarification.

“We expect that the resulting increase in cost of imported peas will have a significant negative impact on pea trade to India,” said SPG in a memo to its members on Wednesday afternoon.

Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay called it a “significant concern.”

“India’s increase of import duties to 50 percent on all imports of peas, without advance notification, is a significant concern for the Government of Canada. We are working with Global Affairs Canada and other federal colleagues to address this issue and will be raising our concerns with the Government of India,” said the minister in a statement shared with RealAgriculture.

Canadian pulse shipments were already facing uncertainty and potentially higher costs with India not renewing its long-running exemption regarding fumigation of imports at their port of origin. The most recent three-month exemption expired at the end of September.

More to come.

Related: Pulse Canada still waiting on word from India