The global chickpea market is facing a mix of opportunities and challenges as we move further into 2023. The market prices in India have been increasing due to traders looking to cover their short sales, which has resulted in a reduction in the expected chickpea harvest. Farmers in India are expected to harvest between 300-350,000 MT of chickpeas, down from the expected 400-450,000 MT, while domestic demand remains around 300,000 MT. This shortage in India has the potential to affect global chickpea prices.
In France, negotiations for 2023 plantings have been completed, but there is no confirmed information about the crop size. Most of the growers are optimistic about the new crop, but prices have been rising sharply to encourage farmers to plant. The uncertainty in the crop size may create volatility in the market, leading to price fluctuations.
Mexico and Argentina have had a short crop of chickpeas, with a reduction of 40-50% in the crop size. It is projected that Mexican exports will not exceed 60,000 MT in 2023, leading to an increase of $100 per MT in prices. Although Mexico is not a major player in the UK market, this increase in prices may add fuel to the fire for global prices.
Canada and the USA have planted 35-40% more chickpeas than the previous year. If the weather conditions remain favourable, we may expect better price levels in June/July. However, the shortage of chickpeas in India, Argentina, and Mexico may affect Canadian prices. In the event of a bad harvest in India, stocks may be replaced with Australian chickpeas, leading to an increase in volumes and prices.
In summary, the global chickpea market is facing a mixed outlook in 2023. While the increased planting in Canada and the USA is encouraging, the shortages in India, Argentina, and Mexico may offset any gains. The situation in France remains uncertain, and the market may experience volatility due to the lack of confirmed information about the crop size.