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Jul 17 -23, 2000

Pakistan qualifies for shrimp exports

Pakistan has been certified for inclusion in the list of countries qualifying shrimp exports to United States of America.

The certification was given under Section 609 of United States Public Law 101-162, Marine Fisheries Department (MFD) said on Tuesday.

According to a letter received by the government from US Embassy on Tuesday, the country was certified because it has demonstrated adoption of regulatory programme governing the incidental taking of sea turtle, comparable to the programme as effective in the USA.

All consignments will now be accompanied by DSP-121 form which must be signed by the exporters.

Pakistani exporters had been facing problems regarding shipments of shrimp to USA which claimed shrimp trawling was harmful, leading to drowning and death of entrapped marine turtles.

USA imposed strict regulations in 1996 that all shrimp trawlers must have turtle excluder devices (TED) in their nets.

The government has now assured the USA that all shrimp trawlers departing for fishing grounds have turtle excluder devices installed in their nets.

Certification by USA is a second achievement after inclusion of Pakistan's name in the list of European Union (EU) harmonized the country early this year.

Pakistan's annual exports of shrimp to USA, now pegged at 1,600 metric ton (mt), is likely to increase, hoped Chairman, Pakistan Seafood Industries Association (PSIA), Tariq Ikram.

Total country's exports of fish and fish products during July-June (1999-2000) stood at $139 million (91,200mt) as compared to $121 million (79,000mt) during the same period of the previous year.

In 1999, total landing of fish in the country (Balochistan, Sindh and Exclusive Economic Zone) remained at 474,665mt as compared to 433,456mt during 1998, say figures of MFD.

 Export of finished goods improves

Manufactured exports contributed 87.25 per cent to the total exports during the financial year 1999-2000, increasing slightly over 87.12 per cent for the previous year, detailed statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics on Monday show.

The year had seen a rise of 8.73% in exports totalling $8.45 billion over 1998-99. The increase in exports was almost matched by increase in imports which too surged by 7.98%.

The impressive growth in export for the whole year reflects the achievement of the first 11 months. For the month of June, 2000, posted a far from rosy picture.

Compared to June 1999, the exports plummeted by 5.00 per cent last month, showing a marginal improvement of only 0.79% over May, 2000. In June 2000, moreover, all the major categories declined: Primary commodities by 19.26%, textile manufactures by 6.12%, Other manufactures by 24.12% over June, 2000. Exports during month totalled $766.00 million.

Food import falls by 33pc

The import of foodstuffs plummeted by over 33 per cent during 1999-2000, compared to previous year, which is said to be the steepest fall in Pakistan's recent history.

The total import bill at the end of the year stood at $10.18 billion, up 7.98 per cent from 1998-99. But a significant feature of this is the fact that the share in it of the Food group dropped drastically to 10.74 per cent. In the previous year, it had accounted for 17.32% of total imports, according to the detailed statement of foreign trade statistics supplied by the Federal Bureau of Statistics.

The import bill of Food group last year totalled $1.09 billion, compared to $1.63 billion in 1998-99

Non-traditional items export up

The exports of non-traditional items have witnessed a high growth during the fiscal year 1999-2000, says a report Tuesday.

The EPB has selected six nontraditional items including seafood, fruits and vegetables, gems and jewellery, autoparts, etc. for exports in the coming years.

The exports of chemicals and pharmaceutical registered a sharp rise of 107 per cent to $ 102.273 million during 1999-2000 compared to $ 49.288 million in 1998-99.

Onex products also witnessed a sharp rise of 69.89 per cent to about $ 10 million during the same period.

The export of fruits has registered an increase of 41 per cent to $ 78.405 million during the period under review, compared to $ 55.528 million previous year.

Palm oil imports up

The local importers of palm oil have tried to take benefit of lower price of palm oil at the international level by placing more orders with Malaysia.

According to sources, normal imports of palm oil is around 70 million metric tons per month but this time the pace of import is little higher as the figure crossed 20 million metric tons by July 10, showing that the total imports during the month will be around 90 million metric tons.