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TRADE

Mar 06 - 12, 2000

  1. International
  2. Finance
  3. Industry
  4. Policy
  5. Trade
  6. Gulf

Govt allows 100,000 tonnes of urea export

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has granted permission to export 100,000 tonnes of urea as the country is expected to have a surplus of over 400,000 tonnes in 2000, sources close to fertilizer industry said.

The local production in 1999 was 17.8 per cent higher than 1998 as it reached 3.96 million tonnes from 3.36 million tonnes. The imports were at 0.43 million tonnes while total demand was 4.08 million tonnes, giving 0.43 million tonnes as the opening stock for 2000.

This is a positive factor for the sector said a leading manufacturer and might help recover companies from the last year's dull period. He expects the country can export 100,000 tonnes of urea making the local manufacturers more profitable.

The government has allowed export of urea as the local prices are much less than the international market prices.

Therefore, the agriculture ministry has recommended that the private sector might sell the urea at international $120-$130 per tonne against the prevailing market price of $150 per tonne to attract buyers towards seller like Pakistan. The ratio of local production and the demand has risen to 97 per cent from 87 per cent in 1999, thereby reflecting the self-sufficiency in urea production.

An analyst from IP Securities believes that with Fauji Jordan already in commercial production, the local producer with 0.4 million tonnes as beginning inventory can easily meet the domestic demand of 4.20 million tonnes expected in 2000.

There has been no threat to local makers of urea from imports as there has been rise in international prices and the government has imposed 10 per cent regulatory duty to protect local industry. The step was aimed to discourage cheap imports in the country and also saving foreign exchange.

Textile exports surge

Commerce managers and exporters are of the opinion that during the current fiscal the textile sector would recover losses it suffered in the past few years due to low production of raw cotton, its high domestic prices and depressed exports.

Officials in the Ministry of Commerce told that textile sector had braved a very tough time in the past three years and country's largest sector further landed into a deep trouble when the Far East crisis erupted which eroded unit value.

Tender

Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) has received an international tender from Thailand through Pakistani Embassy in Bangkok for the supply of electric equipment.

1,300 Hino buses to be exported

The country has received orders for the export of 1,300 buses from Iraq and Kuwait, while negotiations are going on with Dubai and Muscat for more orders.

This was stated by the G.M. Marketing of Hinopak, Irfan Shaikh, at the launching ceremony of their new model coaches.

Iraq wants to import 1,000 buses and Kuwait is keen to buy 300 buses, G.M. Marketing of Hinopak, Irfan Shaikh said.

Gold demand up

With the demand for gold rising to 27.9 tonnes in the fourth quarter of the previous year, Pakistan's annual demand for the commodity rose to 121.8 tonnes in 1999, registering a rise of 24 per cent as compared to 1998.

Foreign cos propose gas sale to Wapda

In a bid to solve their price issue with the government, foreign gas companies have proposed direct gas sales to Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), sources said.

According to the proposal, a pipeline, carrying low BTU gas, would be constructed from Kirthar to Multan, providing gas directly to the Wapda's system.

The price of the gas will depend on the BTU value and how much heat it can generate. Sources said foreign companies were willing to invest in the pipeline project with the government for which a separate company could be formed.

EU may merge various categories of textile quota

The European Union (EU) is likely to merge various categories of textile quota originating from Pakistan to its member countries, official sources disclosed Monday.

Pakistan had been asking the EU to merge under utilized categories of textile quotas with those having growth potential and usually are over — utilized by Pakistani exporters.

Sources said that EU has hinted merger of several textile quota categories being imported from Pakistan. India and China are already enjoying this facility given by EU and has helped increase their exports.

In first phase, the EU is going to merge kitchen and table linen (category 39) with bedlinen (category 20) which is in great demand in EU member countries. Another category being clubbed is of bath-robe (cat 18) with that of towel (cat 9). In this case, the former is underutilized whereas the later is in great demand.

Trade team to visit Iran, CARs

Speaking to a group of local newsmen here on Monday president Balochistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry Sardar Muhammad Ali Jogezai said that the Pakistani traders' visit to Iran was eventually finalized. It would commence from April 20, 2000.

The delegation is expected to visit Teheran, Mashed and Zahidan to discuss trade matters focusing on better means for marketing Pakistani exportable surplus to Iranian markets through Balochistan overland route.

Stockists selling phutti at Rs800

The stockists here are now deriving good profits from the sales of their phutti as prices of this stuff have stabilized around Rs 800 a maund.

They purchased phutti just a month ago at Rs 400 a maund from the cotton growers who had no option but to sell their stocks at this throw-away rates as the ginners were not willing to pay even this price.

The stockists who waited for this moment appeared on the scene and bought phutti at the rate of Rs 400 a maund which was then a very reasonable price in view of the fact that the ginners had previous stocks to worry about and they were reluctant to tie their money down on fresh purchases.