The Government has started the process of offloading chana (Bengal gram) stocks procured during the 2023 rabi season in several states in a move aimed to keep the prices of the pulses variety under check.
Over the past couple of days, the National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) has started inviting bids from interested buyers for disposal of chana procured under the price support scheme in Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Chana prices have been heading north over the past couple of months, following the bullish trend in the pulses complex led by tur (pigeon pea) and urad (black matpe) as their production was impacted by excess rains last year, leading to short supplies and price rise. Also t sowing of tur and urad has been impacted in the ongoing kharif season due to delayed monsoon and deficit rainfall in Karnataka and Maharashtra, aiding the bullish price trend.
Chana prices have moved up by about a fifth since early July and in consuming market of Delhi closed at over Rs.6,000 per quintal on Wednesday.
According to the Agriculture Ministry’s third advance estimates, chana production during the rabi season in 2022-23 touched a record 135.43 lakh tonnes. NAFED has procured about 23.5 lakh tonnes during the 2022-23 rabi marketing season. Along with the carry-forward stock of around 14 lakh tonnes from the previous season, total stocks stood at 37.5 lakh tonnes before the start of disposal. NAFED has been selling the previous year’s stocks in the recent weeks and has began the process of selling the 2022-23 stocks now.
‘The sale of rabi 2023 stocks is on expected lines and is likely to help contain the rising prices,’ said Rahul Chauhan of IGrain India. ‘We need to see what price NAFED gets for the 2023 tenders,’ he said.
For the rabi 2022 stocks sold in the recent auctions, prices were in the range of Rs.5,519-5,699 in various States depending on the quality, Chauhan said.
This article has been republished from The Hindu Business Line