Australian chickpeas and lentils in 2022/23
It seemed like Australian farmers were in for a third consecutive bumper crop before incessant rains in Victoria and neighboring states during the critical maturing period ruined the party.
Lentil production, which is concentrated in Victoria and South Australia, has been affected the most. Large areas of land are flooded and the continued rains are affecting the crops and delaying the harvest meaning many exporters are finding it difficult to fulfill their committed shipments for November. Chickpea crops, however, have been spared the negative effects of excessive rains as acreages are concentrated in Queensland and New South Wales, which have been drier.
Despite good demand from traditional buyers in Bangladesh and Pakistan, Australia is set to be left with a sizeable carryout. Of the country’s major crops, chickpeas proved to be the least remunerative in the last marketing year, which pushed down this year’s acreage; according to the latest ABARES report, chickpea acreage was down to 443 thousand hectares, a 28% decrease on last year. The AgPulse Analytica yield model suggests a yield drop of 8.4% this year, which will lead to a crop size of 699 KMT, compared to 1.062 MMT last year (-37%).
For MY 2022/23, chickpea shipments started on a good note with bulk vessels leaving for Pakistan. With India remaining absent from Australian markets, the rest of the demand will be made up by the UAE and Nepal, which we expect to be close to the average of the past couple of years.