India a Buyer as Canadian Lentil Exports Up

Canadian lentil exports are up in 2018-19, with increased shipments to India one of the biggest reasons why.

According to Statistics Canada, total Canadian lentils exports through the end of April, 2019 amounted to 1.47 million tonnes, an increase of almost 27% from the 1.16 million tonnes that were shipped by the same point a year earlier.

Of the approximately 310,000 tonnes in additional exports this year, India accounted for almost 65%, said Marlene Boersch of Mercantile Consulting Venture Inc. in Winnipeg.

She said high pigeon pea prices have made lentils from Canada quite attractive, despite India’s 33% import tariff that slowed the country’s buying of Canadian lentils in previous years.

In addition to India, there have been good exports to Egypt, Bangladesh and Nepal as well, but sales to Turkey are half of what they were last year, Boersch said.

“Clearly not our biggest year, but certainly better than last year,” she said of 2018-19 lentil exports.

Agriculture Canada is currently forecasting total 2018-19 Canadian lentil exports at 1.8 million tonnes, up from 1.53 million a year earlier. New-crop lentil exports are also seen at 1.8 million tonnes by Ag Canada.

The brisker export pace is helping to reduce Canadian lentil ending stocks, which are forecast at 775,000 tonnes for 2018-19, versus 873,000 a year earlier.

Meanwhile, dry conditions across large swathes of the Prairies so far this spring are threatening to further tighten supplies.

“(Lentil crops) certainly need a shot of water to progress from here, or we’ll see longer term damage and plants dying,” Boersch said.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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