The pulses trading industry is unsure whether the stock holding limit on pulses–imposed by the government in July to tame inflation in food prices–will be extended. The order on stock holding limit was valid till October 31.

Stock limit on pulses and cooking oils was one of several policy measures taken by the government to tame inflation in the prices of food commodities.

Some of the major price control policy measures taken by the central government, such as ban on trading of chana on the NCDEX, opening of import and the imposition of stock limit have a bearing on prices of pulses. Stock limit was imposed on tur, chana, urad and masur till October 31.

The price control measures did affect overall demand and price movement during the festival season. The processing industry saw good demand for chana dal, which is used for making a variety of Diwali sweets and savouries, while demand for tur dal was slow.

“Festival demand lasted only for about a fortnight and volumes have been considerably down. Everyone, including the retail consumers, are buying hand to mouth,” said Nitin Kalantry, a pulses processor from Latur in Maharashtra.

With Assembly election due in Uttar Pradesh, trade participants think the government may continue with price control measures. On November 2, the central food secretary has advised the Uttar Pradesh government “to study and revise the order of the state government so that the supply chain is not disturbed, and no shortage of oil is created”.

With supply of pulses in the market being steady, their prices are expected to remain under pressure. “The supply side is good, which may keep prices stable at current levels during the next few months,” said Agarwal.