Dal (lentil) millers unhappy despite 15-day extension of Tur import deadline

Dal millers are not very happy with a notification issued by the Centre allowing an extension in the import of Tur (Arhar) till November 15 as they feel that the small window of 15 days may not be of much help, reports Financial Express.

As per the notification, millers who had placed orders for the import of Tur but were unable to get these within the deadline will now get another 15 days for import. Earlier, the deadline for the import of Tur, Moong and Urad was October 31.

Millers who were hopeful of an extension in the deadline now say that the time frame is very short and they do not expect too much import during this window till November 15. “The notification has been issued on November 5 and there are barely 10 days left for traders to place orders and manage shipments. The Association had demanded an extension for two months,” said Suresh Agrawal, president, All India Dal Millers Association.

Millers said delay in fresh arrivals of Tur in other countries is affecting the daily operations of mills. Millers have placed orders for Tur with Kenya, Burma and Mozambique. Agrawal pointed out that although the crop in Burma had been good, the crop in African nations — Mozambique, Malawi and Kenya — had been delayed and was likely to come into the market by the end of the year. Therefore, it would not be possible for millers to import pulses until the year-end, he said.

According to him, millers were able to import around 2.5 lakh tonne of pulses by October 31. However, it will be a bit difficult to import the quota of 4 lakh tonne of Tur by November 15. “We had asked the government to extend the deadline by two months to import Tur or re-allocate additional quota of 1,00,000 tonne,” he said.

Of the 1,200 applications received by the government, import licenses have been granted to around 1,118 millers for the import of Tur. The imports had been permitted for a two-month period from September 1 to October 30. 

It is likely that output for kharif pulses may drop by about 15% this season because there was a prolonged dry spell during development period of the crop. Dal mills said a likely drop in pulses output in the kharif season will squeeze supplies for mills. The extended rainfall has damaged the standing kharif crop which is near the harvesting period and this has led to a shortage in the market, he said. As per market reports, prices of pulses such as Chana, Urad, Moong and Masoor have gone up by 5-10% in the past month because of rains in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and this is likely to impact output.

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