On October 18, 2015, the Indian government reduced the allowable amount of pulse crops that can be stored in India before being sold on the market.
This directly threatened U.S. pulse exports to India and the future of more than 200,000 metric tonnes of pulses that are currently being held at Indian ports. In a letter dated October 27, Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester and Congressman Ryan Zinke alleged that the Indian Government order of October 18 "will effectively close India's pulse import trade entirely as the central government's recommended 'stock limit' is only 350 metric tonnes."
Indian importers receive shipments of thousands of metric tons at one time in the normal course of business, they said. In a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative last week, Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said the order that removed "stock limit exemptions" for pulses held by importers as part of its effort to address the shortage of pulses and prevent undue hoarding is "not a trade distortion." "I'm proud to fight for fair trade practices that grow our industry and the thousands of jobs it supports," Congressman Zinke said after the Indian Government reversed its order on pulse storage. India's decision has also been welcomed by Montana's pulse producers. "Several of our buyers commented that inquiries placed upon the Indian Government by the Montana congressional delegation definitely helped to bring about a swifter decision," said Jeff Van Pevenage, senior vice president of Columbia Grain. "India needs product, and disruptions to market flow just add volatility to our markets. Partnerships from the commercial side to our government help solve this issue for our farmers and for our markets," he said.