Markets

Australian chickpeas drop, lentils surge in March

Liz Wells, May 16, 2022

The Amis Wealth loading hatches of lentils bound for Bangladesh at Viterra’s Port Giles terminal in South Australia. Photo: Viterra

AUSTRALIA exported 35,563 tonnes of chickpeas and 102,182t of lentils in March, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The chickpea figure is down 65 per cent from the 102,259t shipped in February, while the lentil figure is up 38pc from the 74,163t exported in February.

Bangladesh was the biggest market by far for both pulses, and accounted for half the chickpea and lentils exports in March.

The containerised markets of Nepal on 7337t and Pakistan on 2937t were the second and third-biggest chickpea markets, while Egypt on 19,476t and India on 13,318t were the second and third-biggest markets for lentils.

Egypt is the major destination for bulk Australian faba beans, and trade sources report lentils have been making up a hatch or two in some of those cargoes.

In its latest Pulse Guidance Notes released last month, Pulse Australia (PA) said lentils have been the “standout performer” of Australia’s 2021 pulse exports, driven largely by Canada’s poor crop and inability to supply.

“Lentil outlook in the short term is very positive while demand continues,” PA said in its report.

“Bulk markets offer strong opportunity, especially from South Australian ports.” Those markets include Bangladesh, India and the United Arab Emirates.

“In India, red lentils continue to trade above the Minimum Support Price (MSP), with a lift in pricing post-harvest possibly indicating harvest volumes below expectations.

“This contrasts with desi chickpeas, where the rabi harvest was in line or above expectations, and consequently, pricing has fallen below MSP.”

CHICKPEAS Oct-Dec Jan Feb Mar Jan-Mar Oct-Mar
Bangladesh 46334 61487 74824 17804 154115 200449
Canada 1596 720 442 2496 3658 5254
Egypt 1771 0 0 993 993 2764
France 24 0 0 0 0 24
Greece 0 0 96 0 96 96
Israel 24 0 0 0 0 24
Italy 382 200 0 0 200 582
Japan 0 0 24 18 42 42
Jordan 0 46 0 0 46 46
Lebanon 0 0 23 23 23
Malaysia 144 116 143 243 502 646
Mauritius 384 168 121 73 362 746
Nepal 55155 1947 2791 7337 12075 67230
Netherlands 48 24 0 0 24 72
New Zealand 24 30 51 64 145 169
Pakistan 12661 2418 20353 2937 25708 38369
Portugal 24 0 0 0 0 24
Romania 0 24 24 0 48 48
Saudi Arabia 128 0 0 0 0 128
Singapore 144 96 75 120 291 435
South Africa 351 48 48 120 216 567
South Korea 168 168 0 0 168 336
Spain 0 0 48 0 48 48
Sri Lanka 300 129 154 126 409 709
Taiwan 0 0 72 44 116 116
Thailand 50 34 23 5 62 112
Turkey 5616 498 755 245 1498 7114
UAE 10062 1368 934 2096 4398 14460
UK 1723 1409 1159 467 3035 4758
US 332 407 99 329 835 1167
Vietnam 48 0 0 0 0 48
Yemen 96 0 23 23 46 142
TOTAL 137589 71337 102259 35563 209159 346748

Table 1: Australian chickpea exports from October 2021 to March 2022. Source: ABS

LENTILS Oct-Dec Jan Feb Mar Jan-Mar Oct-Mar
Bangladesh 17610 83687 38066 51879 173632 191242
Egypt 24551 8400 12500 19476 40376 64927
Fiji 24 0 0 0 0 24
India 12909 11630 369 13318 25317 38226
Indonesia 8 2 0 0 2 10
Japan 0 24 0 23 47 47
Lebanon 24 75 0 0 75 99
Malaysia 299 196 0 0 196 495
Mauritius 0 0 72 194 266 266
Nepal 6658 2501 1880 3534 7915 14573
New Zealand 0 0 8 29 37 37
Pakistan 755 752 5669 864 7285 8040
Singapore 2 0 0 0 0 2
South Africa 50 144 0 236 380 430
South Korea 23 48 23 0 71 94
Sri Lanka 16141 6775 4088 11481 22344 38485
Taiwan 46 0 23 0 23 69
Turkey 3137 125 0 1003 1128 4265
UAE 8946 20720 11465 145 32330 41276
TOTAL 91183 135079 74163 102182 311424 402607

Table 2: Australian lentil exports from October 2021 to March 2022. Source: ABS

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