Black gram, pigeon pea prices plunge tracking weak foreign demand

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Traders are pictured evaluating various beans and pulses in the Mandalay market. Photo: Min Htet Aung

The prices of black grams and pigeon peas showed a slump as foreign demand faltered, according to Yangon Region Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Bayintnaung Commodity Centre).
The prices touched a high of K3.2 million per tonne of pigeon pea and K2.3 million per tonne of black gram on 1 July. The prices fell to K2.975 million per tonne of pigeon pea and K2.245 million per tonne of black gram on 21 July, showing a sharp drop of K225,000 per tonne of pigeon pea and K55,000 per tonne of black gram.
India’s demand is highly correlated with the prices of black grams and pigeon peas as the main buyer of Myanmar’s beans. The prices hit a record high of K2.46 million per tonne of black gram on 14 June and K3.33 million per tonne of pigeon pea on 5 June respectively on the back of strong demand by India.
Myanmar shipped more than 420,000 tonnes of pulses, with an estimated value of over US$330 million, to foreign countries in Q1 during the 2023-2024 financial year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Myanmar’s pulses exports crossed over $1.4 billion from over 1.9 million tonnes in the past financial year 2022-2023, the Ministry of Commerce’s statistics indicated.
Myanmar primarily exports black gram, green gram and pigeon peas to foreign markets. Of them, black gram and pigeon peas are mostly conveyed to India while green grams are shipped to China and Europe.
India has growing demand and consumption requirements for black grams and pigeon peas. According to a Memorandum of Understanding between Myanmar and India signed on 18 June 2021, India will import 250,000 tonnes of black gram and 100,000 tonnes of pigeon peas (tur) from Myanmar for five consecutive years from 2021-2022 financial year to 2025-2026 FY. This G-to-G pact will not affect the pulses’ annual quota set by India. Myanmar’s exporters are also entitled to deliver the pulses to India under that annual quota.
Black gram that India primarily purchases are commonly found only in Myanmar, whereas pigeon peas, green gram and chickpeas are grown in African countries and Australia, Myanmar Pulses, Beans, Maize and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association. — NN/EM

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