Lentils Market Report, May 2023

Date: 22nd May 2023 Category: Latest News
Lentils Market Report, May 2023

In 2017, global production of lentils was 7.3 million MT, setting a new record. However, since then, global production volumes have dropped below 6 million MT twice, occurring in 2019 and 2021 (GPC).
Since 2017, global production volumes have dropped below 6 million MT twice, occurring in 2019 and 2021. According to GPC, world lentil production is expected to increase by 6.6% compared to the previous year.

The estimated world production in 2023 is 7.12 million MT, which would be the second-highest production volume on record after 2017. The rise in production volumes is primarily attributed to India and Canada, while Australian production is predicted to decrease after a record crop in 2022. If the impact of El Niño is minimal and Australian farmers maintain last year's planting levels, a new production record in 2023 is still possible.
Despite the increase in lentil production, it is necessary to examine the implications for the market more closely.

Global pulse supplies are still recovering from the 2021 drought conditions in North America, which resulted in lower inventory levels worldwide. In 2021, lentil production fell to 5.8 million MT, creating a deficit of 300 thousand MT despite lower consumption.

Higher production leads to increased consumption, with consumption levels estimated to reach 6.9 million MT across all lentil types in 2023. Trade volumes are not expected to surpass the 2020 mark of 5.2 million MT due to payment issues in South Asian countries, but the world lentil trade is projected to exceed last year's figure of 4.3 million MT. AgPulse Analytica forecasts 2023 trade at 4.5 million MT, with increased contributions from Australia, Canada, and Turkey. With higher inventories at origins, large upcoming production volumes, and relatively low demand from South Asia, the outlook for lentil prices is not bullish.

However, the market could find support the prices if a strong El Niño affects the Australian crop or if there are uncertainties regarding India's 2024 crop due to weather conditions. Monitoring weather patterns will be crucial for assessing potential impacts on lentil production and prices.



The unexpected turn of events in the lentils market has taken everyone by surprise. In a recent development, India has issued a new tender, signaling a possible urgency to procure lentil stocks before their upcoming crop. While the buyers have not yet committed firmly, it is highly likely that they will participate in the market soon. This unforeseen demand has put pressure on the already dwindling stocks, contrary to earlier predictions. As farmers are still engaged in seeding activities, the availability of lentil stocks is lower than anticipated. Approximately 15-20% of laird lentils and 10-15% of small green lentils from the 2022 crop remain, totaling around 60-80,000 MT of laird lentils still held by farmers. Considering that farmers typically retain the last 5-10% for personal use, reaching a stock level below 10% would imply a sold-out scenario. If India proceeds with their purchase in the coming weeks, it is bound to introduce significant volatility to an already challenging market, where procuring lentils directly from growers is becoming nearly impossible.