Canadian pulse industry pleased with trade talks with India

Canadian pulse industry pleased with trade talks with India
Mar 16, 2022

India will consider allowing loosening its rules on methyl bromide

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Canada’s pulse industry welcomes the news that Canada and a major pulse customer have agreed to relaunch trade negotiations.

Mary Ng, Canada’s trade minister, and Shri Piyush Goyal, India’s minister of commerce, consumer affairs, food and public distribution, held the fifth Ministerial Dialogue on Trade & Investment in New Delhi on March 11.

In addition to agreeing to relaunch trade talks, the two countries appeared to make progress on pulses.

“Canada welcomed India’s consideration to allow import of pulses without penalty in case of fumigation on arrival by methyl bromide until finalization of a systems approach for Canadian pulses,” a joint statement says.

This is good news for Canadian agriculture, said Corey Loessin, chair of Pulse Canada.

“We are encouraged to see the priorities of the Canadian pulse industry featured prominently in trade talks, specifically the focus on advancing Canada’s system-based approach and the inclusion of additional sanitary and phytosanitary measures in an Early Progress Agreement,” he said in a March 11 statement.

Since 2004, India has required grain shipments be fumigated with methyl bromide in the grain’s country of origin.

Shipments arriving at Indian ports without fumigation are subject to a fee. In 2019 that fee was about $15 per metric tonne.

India is an important customer for Canadian pulse growers.

In 2018-19, for example, Canada exported about 520,000 metric tonnes of pulses to India. Only Myanmar, with about 700,000 metric tonnes, shipped more to India that year.

But in an effort to increase domestic production and use, India has placed tariffs on pulse imports.

Imports of Canadian pulses, for example, faced an 11 per cent tariff.

India recently lifted those tariffs, a decision that will remain in place until at least Sept. 30.

The continued bilateral trade discussions need to promote transparency, Loessin said.

“Pulse Canada supports a continued focus on achieving predictable and transparent policies governing the trade in pulses between Canada, the world’s largest pulse exporting country, and India, the world’s largest pulse consuming country,” he said in the statement.

At least one other Canadian organization has voiced its support for the progress between India and Canada.

India is an important market for trade in Asia. Having a deal with that country could unlock other opportunities, said Goldy Hyder, president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada.

“Simply put, there is no path to a successful Indo-Pacific strategy without going through India – projected to soon become the world’s most populous country with one of the fastest growing economies,” he said in a statement.

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