Jun 12 - 18, 2000
Trade deficit up
Pakistan incurred a trade deficit of $1,608m during the first 11 months
of the year '99-2000, showing an increase of 17.45% over the corresponding period of
previous year, according to an official source.
This deterioration of the trade gap occurred despite the fact that
there was an improvement of 10.31% in exports during the period. Clearly, the worsening
trade imbalance is due to persistent rise in imports. These have increased by 11.5% in the
last 11 months, compared to the corresponding period of last year. In absolute terms, the
trade deficit shows an difference of $239m, because during the period July-May ('98-99)
the trade deficit had amounted to $1,369m.
During the month of May, the trade imbalance deteriorated further by
$91m, raising it from $1490m deficit registered at the end of the period July-April
(1999-2000) to $1,608m by the end of last month.
By the end of May, the exports totalled $7,692m as against imports
When compared with April, the trade deficit went up by 7.91% during
May, when the exports totalled $760m. This also means an increase in trade deficit of
14.31% over the corresponding month of last year.
But the imports also spiralled to $956m, registering an increase of
15.7% over May '99 and of 14.35% over April, 2000.
The statistics further show that at the end of ll-month period, the
country is short of the target of $9 billion by $1308 million or 14.53%.
The monthly average of exports in the current financial year comes to
$699.27 million. At this rate, it is expected that the export figure for the year
1999-2000 would be around the 88.4 billion mark.
Pakistan, Iran sign oil agreement
The government has signed an agreement with Iran for importing 30,000
barrel light crude diesel per day. The contract will be effective from July 1.
Islamabad had proposed that Tehran should provide 25 per cent of
Pakistan's requirement of high speed diesel. The proposal was welcomed by the Iranian
authorities. The deal, which was inked last week, envisages supply of 30,000 barrel per
day (bpd) for one year. The Iranian crude would be processed in refineries at Karachi.
At present, the government is importing 100,000 bpd. Also, it is
negotiating a similar deal with Saudi Arabia. The deal is likely to mature when a
delegation of petroleum ministry would visit Saudi Arabia later this month.
The terms of the deal with Iran are commercial but the officials are of
the view that signing of the contract was an important event keeping in view the limited
availability of crude diesel in the world market.
Rice quality for export okayed
The Quality Review Committee has certified more than 1.46 million
tonnes of rice for export purposes, officials said here Wednesday.
Acting Controller QRC Chaudhry Ikram said here that Karachi office had
certified 1.445 million tonnes while Lahore office issued certificates for 15,1-83 tonnes
of rice till June 5, 2000.
In addition, he said Rice Export Corporation of Pakistan had also
certified 50,000 tonnes of rice of which 30,000 tonnes were basmati.
He said of the total certified rice, 325,000 tonnes are super basmati
while 84,000 tonnes are blended rice and the rest is IRRI-6, IRRI-9, PK-386 and other
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have shown interest in Pakistani products as
the Export Promotion Bureau has received five international tenders, it was officially
stated. According to an EPB release, Sri Lanka has shown interest in
pharmaceutical/surgical/surgical consumable items while Bangladesh in potassium carbonate
and meteorological balloon (natural rubber-made).
Delayed relief hikes sugar import bill
Delay in removing 35 per cent cash margin on L/Cs for import of white
sugar is going to cost the country $22 million more because of price difference as world
sugar prices have soared to $268 per tonne from $205 about two months back, importers said
After importing around 0.150 million tonnes the country would still be
needing around 0.350 million tonnes of white sugar to meet the domestic shortfall because
of poor sugarcane crop this year, industry sources said.
On harvesting poor sugarcane crop, the mills this season (1999-2000)
produced around 2.5 million tonnes of white sugar against domestic consumption of around
three million tonnes.
Gold imports suspended
Gold import has remained suspended as a result of the countrywide
shutter-down against tax survey twelve days ago.
General Secretary, Karachi Saraf and Jewellers Group, Haji Mohammed
Farooq told that the import of gold is estimated at 120,000 tola per month.
Pakistan in EXPO-2000
Federal Minister for environment, labour, manpower and overseas
Pakistanis, Omar Asghar Khan inaugurated Pakistan Pavalion at Expo 2000 Hannover, Germany
on June 3. The FPCCI has organized Pakistan's participation in Expo 2000, says a press
Pakistan's exports are projected to grow by 11 per cent in fiscal
2000-2001 which would help improve the trade balance.
According to latest projections by the Planning Commission to be
submitted in the National Economic Council meeting, fiscal 2000-2001 will experience an
improvement in the trade balance to high growth of exports and only a modest increase in
Exports (fob) are projected to grow by 11 per cent while imports (fob)
are forecast by 3.6 per cent.