Pulse outlook: Steady world trade expected in 2023

Date: 29th March 2023 Category: Latest News
Pulse outlook: Steady world trade expected in 2023

The International Grains Council predicts that the world trade in chickpeas and lentils will remain stable in 2023, as South Asia's strong demand continues to support the market. The IGC forecasts that the global trade in chickpeas will remain at around 1.9 million tonnes, with lentil movement remaining steady at approximately four million tonnes. The IGC anticipates that the total world pulse trade will increase by two per cent to 17.4 million tonnes in 2023, driven primarily by increased demand for dry peas.


Canada, a significant exporter of all three crops, is experiencing a surge in pea and lentil exports. According to data from the Canadian Grain Commission, pea exports from licensed facilities during the first 32 weeks of the 2022-23 marketing year increased by 62 per cent compared to the previous year, while lentil exports rose by 59 per cent. Although Canadian chickpea sales typically bypass the weekly CGC data, Statistics Canada's monthly merchandise trade data reveals that Canadian chickpea movement during January 2023 was more than double the amount moved during the same period in the previous year.

Australia's recent record-breaking lentil crop of 1.4 million tonnes may affect some of the global trade flows, according to analysts. Although Australia's pea production increased slightly to 314,000 tonnes, its chickpea crop decreased to 541,000 tonnes, roughly half of the previous year's production, due to a decrease in planted area.


Despite the growing demand for chickpeas in India, sales are currently sluggish due to buyers' dissatisfaction with the quality and moisture content of the new Indian crop. Nevertheless, India remains one of the largest producers and exporters of chickpeas worldwide, and the country's chickpea cultivation must remain economically viable to keep buying interest high. While prices for Indian chickpeas reached their low point last week, slight increases of around USD 25/mt are currently being recorded.
In contrast, Canadian and US markets are reporting good sentiment and larger acreages, with experts at Rayglen Commodities reporting strong Canadian chickpea exports in Q1 of 2023. The prices for old crop in Canada are at CAD 0.50/lb, while the new crop is trading at around CAD 0.45/lb. The experts predict that the rising demand will soon drive prices up. Conversely, in Mexico, smaller acreages are being reported.

Overall, global demand for chickpeas continues to grow due to the increasing importance of health consciousness, resulting in greater demand for pulses worldwide. Despite the sluggish sales of the new Indian crop, solid demand from South Asia is expected to underpin the market, with total world pulse trade in 2023 projected to rise by two per cent. However, the slow sales of the new crop and restrained export demand may hinder further price increases for the time being.