Paucity of stocks, restricted supply continue to push up pulses prices

New Delhi: There seemed to be no respite from high prices of pulses like Urad and gram on Thursday as paucity of stocks and restricted supply continued to push up the wholesale prices. At the bulk purchase markets in New Delhi and parts of northern India, there have been reports of overall rise in prices of Urad and Urad Chilka dal by about Rs 100 per quintal. The prices of Urad on Thursday shot up to Rs 10,800-Rs 12,300 per quintal depending on varieties, a source in the Union Food Ministry said. Last week, there was a modest drop in wholesale prices of pulses, the source said. The wholesale price of gram and Kabuli gram also ended higher and advanced on average by Rs 200 per quintal on the backdrop of strong demand from retailers. At the retail market, prices of pulses were Rs 190-200 per kg. In the national capital, gram bulk price rose further by Rs 200 to Rs 7,600, sources said. The prices of Masoor dal small stood around Rs 6,350 per quintal while Masoor local was about Rs 6,600. However, easing demand resulted in drop in prices of maize by about Rs 50 per quintal. Traders also feel there are ample stocks of maize. In New Delhi and other parts of north India, bulk price of maize fell by Rs 50 to around Rs 1,675 per quintal, sources added. Faced with recurring demand-supply issues vis-a-vis pulses, India has requested Mozambique to consider if it can supply Tur dal (or Arhar) for the next five years on a government-to-government basis. India has offered to buy Tur dal from Mozambique at a minimum support price (MSP) plus carrying and transportation cost, the source said. The MSP of Tur dal has been fixed at Rs 5,050 per quintal, which includes a bonus of Rs 200 for 2016-17 crop year (July-June). Mozambique produces around 70,000 tonnes of pulses, including Tur, in a year. India, meanwhile, is also negotiating with Myanmar for long-term supply of Tur dal.