Govt may import 2-2.5m
tons of wheat
The government is finalizing the wheat import programme for 2 million
to 2.5 million tons for this season after ascertaining the province-wise requirements in
the Wheat Coordination Committee meeting being held on Saturday in Islamabad.
This wheat import programme is being discussed amid reports that
international prices are down in range of 115 to 117 dollars a ton but freight cost is
moving up because of escalation in bunker rates.
International commodity brokers quoted on Monday white soft wheat at
115.10 dollars per ton for August and at 116.94 for September.
Market sources believe that USA is expected to be the main wheat
supplier to Pakistan this season. At least 115 million dollars are available right now to
finance for 0.9 million tons to 1.0 million tons with possibility of additional equal
amount being offered as credit for more wheat.
Well placed sources in Karachi said on Thursday that Sindh Food
Department officials are carrying a detailed brief on the provincial wheat requirement in
the Saturday meeting.
"Sindh may ask for 0.8 million to 1.0 million tons share wheat
from Islamabad," a well placed source indicated as he pointed out that there was now
about 550,000 tons stock. The government succeeded in procuring over 550,000 tons of wheat
from farmers this season by restricting even inter-tehsil movement within the province.
According to the market sources USA is expected to be main wheat
supplier to Pakistan this season mainly because of indications of availability of over 75
million dollars soft term credit and additional availability of 41 million dollars refund
from the F-16 deal.
Minimum export price of onion fixed at Rs10 per kg
The Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet (ECC) on Thursday
fixed the minimum export price of onions at the rate of Rs 10 per kg against Rs 20 fixed
The meeting, which was presided over by Minister for Finance and
Commerce Ishaq Dar, was informed that the onion production for the current year was
expected to exceed 1.30 million metric tons as against the previous year's production of
1.15 million tons, leaving a surplus of 150,000 tons for export very soon.
Minister for Food and Agriculture Abdul Sattar Lalika told after the
ECC meeting that since the size of the onion crop was quite big, the decision was taken to
fix the export price at the rate of Rs 10 per Kg.
To a question, the minister for food and agriculture said that a total
of 300,000 metric tons of onion was likely to be exported this year from Sindh and
Balochistan. The purpose of reducing the export price of onion was to benefit both the
exporters and the government, he said.
There is a great potential for exporting bicycles for adults and
professionals to Uzbekistan which meets its entire demand through imports from other
However, Pakistan will have to compete with cheaper bicycles imported
from China, India and Russia.
Still there are bright chances if proper marketing is done by Pakistani
manufacturers and exporters.
Pakistan made bicycles were displayed in Tashkent and its quality and
standard was appreciated by local trading companies.
Argentina imposes quota restriction on Pak fabrics
Argentina, hitherto a non-quota country, has imposed quota restriction
on the import of fabrics from Pakistan in nine categories with effect from July 31, 1999,
for a period of three years.
The categories in which quota quantities have been fixed include Cat
218 (fabrics of different colours) 17,527 kg; Cat 219/220 (fabrics of special knots);
21,052 kg; Cat.224 (velvery and curly fabrics) 7,147 kg; Cat. 313/317 (Fabrics of bed
sheets/serge 446,161 kg; Cat. 613/617/627 (fabrics for bed sheets/serge and discontinuous
fibre and filament 5,421,090 kgs).
The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) has in a letter advised all exporters
to make shipments in the categories to Argentina only against valid quota allocation with
The letter says that under the Textile Quota Management Policy for
1999, when a nonquota textile product is brought under quota restriction, the basis for
the purpose of determining the quota entitlement shall be the performance during the 12
months period terminating two months preceding the month in which the request for
consultation was made.
'Pakistan can earn $250m by exporting dates'
State Minister and chairman Export Promotion Bureau, Wajid Jawed said
Wednesday Pakistan can earn 250 million dollars by exporting locally produced dates with
the slight efforts.
He was speaking at the two-day date show organised by Export Promotion
Bureau (EPB) in collaboration with Balochistan Agriculture Department.
He said most of the dates produced in Makran Division are waisted due
to lack of transportation, and proper storage and packing facilities in Turbat and
He said top priority will be given to construct the road between Turbat
and Pasni mini port to give access to date exports to Gulf countries.
Tea imports rise to 0.12m tons
Pakistan's tea imports rose to about 120,000 tons in fiscal year
1998-99 from about 99000 tons in fiscal 1997-98 due to a 20 per cent cut in customduty on
In 1998-99 the government had reduced tea import duty from 45 to 25 per
cent. Tea imports are also subject to a 15 per cent sales tax.
According to the Federal Board of Statistics Pakistan imported 119,765
tons of tea worth $223.291 million in July-June 1998-99 up from 98649 tons worth $226.717
million in July-June 1997-98.