Lentil exports from Canada to India have slowed down amidst the two countries' souring diplomatic ties. The relations have been on a downturn ever since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of assassinating Khalistani leader and Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar on its soil.
Now industry sources in both Canada and India fear trade restrictions from the countries owing to rising tensions, according to Reuters.
Canada is currently India's main exporter of lentils. The country accounted for more than half of India's total lentil imports in FY 22-23 with shipments of 4,85,492 metric tons.
A reduction in Indian purchases would decrease the profits of Canadian farmers. Alternatively for India, the move would also hike the prices of pulses, which are the main ingredient used in making dal, apart from being used in various other Indian dishes. A hike in lentil prices could be politically risky ahead of the 2024 general elections.
Earlier, the Indian government had suspended the issuance of visas to Canadians. Both the countries also sent back a few diplomats right after the accusations were aired.
Meanwhile, an official with the Canadian Global Affairs department has said that Canada is not directly taking any action that would affect trade and business with India.
According to data from India's trade ministry, India's imports of Canadian lentils increased by a measure of 420 per cent from April to July of 2022 to 1,90,784 tons.
India's local demand of lentils is 24 lakh metric tons per year, but only 16 lakh tons is produced in the country.