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Aug 14 -20, 2000

Exports drop by 23.75% in July

The year 2000-2001 has had a rather inauspicious start with the exports during its first month (July 2000) plummeting by 23.75% over the previous month, according to the trade statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.

The same month also registered descent of imports by 20.98% over the previous month. These amounted to $800.56m, compared to $1.01bn in June 2000, resulting in a trade deficit of $132.58m, down 3.26% from the previous month.

The exports during the month totalled $667.98m over $208m less than in June, 2000, indicating loss of momentum in exports that was witnessed in recent months.

The commerce minister in his Trade Policy 2000 has set $10bn as the target for exports for the current financial year. On this basis, the month's exports have fallen short of the average monthly target by about 20%. This probably was the reason the commerce minister prevented the release of aggregate trade figures for the month.

The commerce ministry, it may be noted, had established a tradition of providing to the press aggregate figures for the preceding month, few days prior to the release of desegregated figures about exports and imports by the Federal Bureau of Statistics. This tradition has been broken this time.

Due to sharp drop in exports, the proportion of imports covered by exports also slid down. In June 2000, the export figure was short of the import figure by 17.53%. In July 2000, this ratio went up to 16.56% of the imports. This means that the government will have to raise resources to cover the balance of payment deficit to that extent, whether by purchase of dollars from the open market or by loan from some foreign agency.

When compared to July 1999, the performance of exports shows an increase of $66m or 11.06% in the month under report, while the imports have gone up by 1.46%. The balance of trade gap too, was down 29.30%, compared to July 1999.

Manufactured goods exports fall 

The proportion of manufactured goods in total exports dropped to 89.16% during the month of July 2000 compared to July 1999 when it stood at 89.26%.

According to figures of Federal Bureau of Statistics, textile manufactures noted sharp decline. During the first month of financial year 1999-2000 it was 79.25%, as against 73.52% in the corresponding month of the current financial year ­falling by about 6%.

Though, in the final month of 1999-2000, manufactured goods had contributed 87.74% of total manufactured exports which means some increase in their share in July 2000. Similarly, July 2000 registered a slight improvement in textile manufactures over the 72.50% of June 2000.

When compared to June 2000, however, the textile manufactures, which totalled $437.85 million in July 2000 plummeted by 21.44%, while at the same time showed an increase of 2.91% over July 1999.

Cut in edible oil import to save $100m

The country is expected to save $100 million through cut in edible oil import during the current fiscal year, as a result of conscious efforts to boost indigenous oilseed production, official sources said on Thursday.

The total edible oil production in 2000-01 is anticipated at 740,000 tons against the domestic requirement of 1.9 million tons, leaving behind a gap of 1.1 million tons to be imported, the sources added.

During 1998-99, $788 million were spent on edible oil import which came down to $450 million during the previous fiscal year, helping the country to slash its food import bill significantly.

LC for 15,000 tons rice

The letter of credit of Iran Government Trading Corporation (GTC) for the purchase of 15,000 tons of Pakistani IRRI-9 rice will be operative in a couple of days and the loading will be completed by the end of this month.

This was stated by the Chairman, Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) Fazlur Rehman.

The GTC of Iran had already opened LC, but it was non- operative.

He said Pakistani Embassy in Iran has communicated to TCP that the LC will be operative in a couple of days while the vessel is going to be nominated very soon.

Trade with Germany declines

Foreign trade with Germany, as well as German investment in Pakistan are on decline and entrepreneurs from both the countries need to strive hard for the reversal of this trend.

These views were expressed by the Consul General of Germany, I. Brentle during a seminar organized by the Pakistan German Business Forum at a local hotel on Thursday.

Exports to Indonesia decline

Pakistan's export of rice, cotton yarn, cotton fabrics, refined sugar and petroleum products to Indonesia has reduced, it was informed in a meeting between the Ambassador Indonesia Jack Said Gaffar and the office-bearers of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday.

NWFP to boost gem exports

The NWFP government has formed a gems mining committee to encourage investors in gems' mining, processing and trading. It will also have representatives from the private sector to advise the government.According to a Small & Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) spokesman, the induction of people from private sector will ensure transparency and efficiency.

The spokesman said the committee will formulate specific prospecting, mining and marketing regulations and evolve strategy for the reactivation of abandoned gemstone mines as well as auction of known mines.

QRC certifies rice for export

The Quality Review Committee has certified more than 1.743 million tons of rice for export purposes till August 7, officials said.

QRC acting controller, Chaudhry Ikram, said that the Committee has certified more than 1.632 million tons of rice till June 31, 2000, while 110,828 tons between July 1, 2000 and Aug 7, 2000.