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Apr 17 - 23, 2000

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

TCP sells 20,000 cotton bales

The Trading Corporation of Pakistan accepted two bids for 10,000 cotton bales of 'Afzal' type each of Indutech Italy and Bahrain Textile Mills at 43 cents a pound.

The TCP chairman, Javed Ashraf Hussain said that nine foreign firms had participated in the bidding.

The Corporation had floated an international tender for the sale of 70,000 cotton bales on April 3. The tender included offer for 50,000 bales of 'Afzal' and 20,000 bales of 'Ilaka.'

Orders placed for sugar import

Import orders of 0.150 million tonnes of white sugar have been placed by the private sector following reports of domestic shortfall of nearly 0.4 million tonnes, importers said.

The import has become inevitable because of 35 per cent decline in the local production at 2.5 million tonnes, as against the projected annual consumption of 2.9 million tonnes.

World prices of white sugar rose from $200 per tonne to $225 to $230 per tonne after the local commercial importers entered the international market.

EPB team for Iraq

Chairman Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Tariq Ikram will lead a 10-member delegation to Iraq on April 22, to participate in Agricultural Implements Fair being held from April 27 to May 5, 2000 in Baghdad.

Cotton seed prices slashed

Punjab Seed Corporation (PSC) has reduced its cotton seed prices by upto 46% for the coming cotton sowing season compared to the rates at which the Corporation sold its seed last year.

The move has been made in the light of last year's experience when more than half of the Corporation's seed was not sold due to a variety of reasons, high prices being one of them.

Textile exports up 11.39pc in 9 months

The export of Textile Manufactures went up by 11.39 per cent during the first nine months of 1999-2000 compared to corresponding month of last year, according to Advance Release on External Trade Statistics by the Federal Bureau of Statistics.

With a total of $4.02 billion, their share in total exports ($6.197 billion) also rose slightly — from 63.55% in July-March (1998-99) to about 65% in the period under report.

Similarly, the Primary Commodities and Other Manufactures also showed positive growth in the last 9 months, as their exports increased by 8.04% and 11.15%, respectively.

The export figure of $686.915 million for March 2000 is lower (by 0.34%) even than the exports growth during March 1999 and in sharp contrast to February 2000. In latter month, exports had gone up by 12.62% and 13.13% over January 2000 and February 1999, respectively.

The result is that the exports for the 9-month period inched up to $6.197 billion, pulling the growth rate of first 8 months from 9.65% down to 8.92% this year.

This renders the export target of $9 billion still more elusive. The exports figure at the end of March 2000 is only about 69% of the target. In order to achieve the target, the country needs the exports to average $934 million per month in the remaining 3 months, that is $245 milion per month more than the monthly average of the preceding 9 months.

The fluctuations in exports are contrasted by the consistent rise of imports which in March 2000 went up 10.29% over February 2000 and 13.07% over March 1999. During July-March (1999-2000), the imports totalled $7.498 billion, that is, 13.09% more than last year.

Consequently, external trade rose still further to $1.3 billion, showing an increase of 38.35% over the corresponding period of last year.

Pakistan imports more petroleum

Pakistan imported about 27 per cent more petroleum crude in March than in the corresponding month last year, according to official statistics made available on Monday.

The total quantity of petroleum crude imported was 406,748 tons which is 2.83pc more than the quantity of petroleum crude imported in February.

The statistics also show a 3.46pc increase last month in the import price of petroleum crude.

In March, it was $198.16 a ton as against $194.7 a ton in February. In March 1999, the petroleum crude was imported at the rate of $96.35 a ton.

Pak rice prices fall

Pakistani rice prices for coarse Irri-6 variety fell this week on lack of foreign demand amid tough competition from Vietnam, dealers said. He said Vietnam was quoting 25 per cent broken Irri-6 rice at $153 a tonne compared to Pakistan's $158 a tonne.

Trade deficit may settle around $1.6 bn

The trade deficit during the current fiscal may settle around $1.5 to $1.6 billion owing to rise in the import bill of textile machinery and three-fold increase in the petroleum prices internationally.

At the time of announcement of the federal budget in last June, economic managers of the country estimated that the trade deficit in 1999-2000 would be around $800 million. The oil product prices last year was in the range of $8 to $10 per barrel and the government made projections and that it can reach around $18 per barrel by end of 2000. But the cut in oil production internationally jacked up the prices and it reached the lifetime high of $30 per barrel. The increment was over 300 per cent.

The low oil prices helped the government during the last fiscal and the trade deficit was around $1.570 billion. Similarly, it earned nearly Rs 72 billion as development surcharge, one of the main sources to improve the revenue collection.

Export duty on livestock to be cut

The government has decided to reduce export duty by five per cent on the export of livestock under its new National Livestock Policy, which is likely to be announced by the end of current month after the approval of the cabinet, it is reliably learnt.

Sources said that the Livestock. division has been asked to submit its proposals by April 15, 2000 to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for submission to the cabinet.

At present, the government is charging 15 per cent duty on the export of live animals, their casings and other allied products.