Chickpeas Faba Beans Lentils Market Access
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By Peter Semmler, Agrisemm Global Brokerage
June 2021

Pulse exports from Australia remained strong in the first five months of 2021 as is evident in the June 2021 table in this report. The problems with shipping companies over the last three months have not changed either in availability of containers, reliability of performance, and regular freight increases, all which have made the lot of container shippers frustrated. Similarly the buyers are equally as frustrated with extended transit times, reduced free time at destination ports, and higher prices. Bulk shipments of chickpeas, lentils, and faba beans have been much more common this year. This has meant improved transit times, reduced cost and freight (CFR) price, and lower destination discharging costs compared to containers.

The final estimates seem to be reasonably close to the consensus view. Prices remain firm. Desi chickpeas last reported around $700 USD CFR Karachi, lentils at around $800 USD CFR Karachi, and faba beans at $430 USD CFR Damietta. The elephant in the room is what India plans to do with current tariff levels in view of rumours that further pulse imports will be necessary. There is a belief that some traders are accumulating red lentils in the expectation this will happen, hence the current firm price for red lentils. In Australia many farmers have had a good year and are not forcing sellers whohave already sold their cereals, canola, etc., which means the traders are having to bid higher to buy product. Last week bids for nugget- type lentils were around $740 USD free-on-board (FOB) Adelaide for prompt delivery and new crop was bid around $690 USD FOB.

While last season turned out extremely well, the coming season is not shaping up all that well in some Australian states.

Western Australia

The season has opened very well with good rains over most of the cropping country. The only area that is not as fortunate is north of Geraldton. Some area will be lost to pulses and barley due to the very high prices offered for new crop canola contracts, peaking last week at around $650 USD delivered port.

South Australia

Traditionally Anzac (Memorial) Day marks the start of the growing season with a break usually happening by then. This year it has been a very dry start. Thankfully there were some good rains over most of the cropping areas last week, but this will bring short-term relief as there is minimal moisture in the soil profile. Planting is well underway and already completed in some areas. Based on our research there will not be any major changes in pulse areas as agronomics are a prime driver in crop choice as well as price. The general view was that lentil area will increase by around 10% and there would be a similar drop-off in faba beans. Rain forecasts for the next three months are fairly normal.


Victoria has not really had a traditional break and will need more rain soon to keep crops alive into winter. Planting is well underway and close to 75% complete. In terms of crop choices there will be an increase in canola area due to the high contract prices on offer. Faba bean area is expected to decline around 10% and lentil area increase a similar amount. Like in South Australia moisture in the soil profile is minimal. Lentils are better able to handle lower rainfall. For these two states everything now depends on at least average winter rainfall and good spring rains.

New South Wales

There have been good rains in this state and planting is well underway if not completed. Chickpea area is expected to be similar to last year, maybe up a bit. Last year, with a very good opening to the season, there was a major increase in area planted to faba beans. The crop progressed well until part was decimated by an aphid-borne virus. How this will influence grower planting intentions should become known once the Pulse Australia forecast

is completed. New South Wales is still in the midst of a mice plague which has caused much damage to growing crops, stored fodder, and stored grain. It is hard to predict what the impact may be on this year’s crops.


Rainfall in this state to-date has been reasonable but a bit patchy in some areas. Planting of winter crop cereals is pretty much complete and as is the case in New South Wales, farmers can plant Desi chickpeas as late as July 31 if they decide to wait for more rain. Plantings in Central Queensland will be lower this year as farmers opt for a break crop like wheat or barley. Due to the good prices, some farmers have grown Desis on the same land for six consecutive seasons.

In summary there are two states off to a good start, one around average, and two starting with a shortage of moisture. Yet again it will be a very interesting year.

Peter Semmler is the Principal of Agrisemm Global Brokerage. He can be reached at

June 2021 Australia Pulse Market Update

Estimated Planted Area, June 2021 (hectares) Desi Chickpeas Faba Beans Dun Field Peas Red & Green Lentils
New South Wales 238,000 59,000 40,000 2,000
Victoria 37,000 92,000 74,000 161,000
Queensland 275,000 8,000
South Australia 11,000 78,000 86,000 123,000
Western Australia 4,000 8,000 8,000 18,000
Pulse Australia Estimated Planted Area, June 2021 562,000 245,000 238,000 304,000
Pulse Australia Estimated Production (tonnes), June 2021 662,000 407,000 270,000 454,000
ABARES September 2020 Production Estimate
Agrisemm Total Area Estimate (hectares), June 2021 500,000 270,000 241,000 297,000
Agrisemm Estimated Production (tonnes), June 2021 700,000 385,000 300,000 386,100
Agrisemm Estimated Production (tonnes) 2020 (Final) 900,000 730,000 370,000 950,000
Export Data (tonnes)
November 2015 to September 2016 1,145,140 263,349 129,831 193,151
October 2016 to September 2017 2,269,864 414,692 253,035 858,954
October 2017 to September 2018 821,235 295,263 130,464 507,958
October 2018 to September 2019 334,296 283,125 79,415 361,072
October 2019 to September 2020 357,904 325,352 52,488 697,960
October 2020 to March 2021 558,159 390,665 46,907 474,276

Source: Bureau of Statistics, Pulse Australia

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