Exports to Bangladesh increased46 % yoy
Production decreased41 %
The record chickpea demand and prices experienced last season largely faded following the introduction of a tariff on chickpeas (along with other crops) by the Indian government. Lacklustre demand from India, the largest importer and consumer of Australian chickpeas and lentils in 2016, resulted in a market void that could not be fully replaced.
Despite a slight increase in area planted (3%), production decreased significantly, down 41% year-on-year. Unfavourable seasonal conditions normalised the production value to long-term average levels1.
The production of pulses is cyclic in nature, with global demand determining the area planted. With production levels in India recovering due to improving growing conditions, it may take a few years for the appearance of another major export opportunity for pulses17.
Prices remained high well into the first half of the season as demand from India continued, however, fell significantly in January with the announcement of a 30% tariff on crop imports to India. Overall, chickpea prices were down 9% year-on-year while field peas and lupins were also down 9% and 5% respectively2.
The total value of exports decreased by 37% year-on-year primarily because of a sharp drop in the price of chickpeas since the beginning of 20182, 54. The volume of exports to India and Pakistan fell by 25% and 75% year-on-year respectively, while those to Bangladesh rose by 46%.
The value of pulse exports declined across the board with broad beans exports declining 82% year-on-year and lentils by 5% year-on-year, both faring better than other pulses due to increased demand from Southeast Asia54.
A favourable monsoon season in India led to its domestic pulse production increasing 27% over the five-year moving average61. Significant production increases were also experienced in Canada, with production levels driven by an explosion in chickpea consumption in the US, its major export market57.