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Mar 05 - 11, 2001

Record export of rice in 2 months

Private sector exporters have physically shipped a record quantity of 0.4 million tons of Irri-6, during January and February, fetching around $59 million in foreign exchange, exporters said.

The flash floods in the traditional "rice bowl" countries, Thailand and Vietnam, resulting in extensive damage to paddy crops gave opportunity to Pakistani exporters to capture rice markets of West Africa and Middle East.

Taking full advantage of early crop arrival and proximity with these markets, Pakistani exporters for the first time managed to ship more than twice the quantity of the rice dispatched in the first two months of any calendar year.

However, exporters said with the arrival of Eid-ul-Azha, there might be a slow down in export activity as most of the loading vehicles would divert their operations towards bringing of animals from the upcountry and interior of Sindh.

Pakistani exporters are selling Irri-6 and Irri-9 (15 to 20 per cent broken) at $10 below the world market prices currently being quoted at around $155 to $165 per tone fob. In addition, there is also a freight advantage of around $5 per ton because of proximity to Africa and Middle East.

The country is expected to export around 1.5 million tons of Irri-6 and Irri-9 rice this year, including around 0.2 million tons of previous crop.

So far around 0.7 to 0.8 million tons of Irri-6 had been exported since the inception of new crop season from middle of November last.

Despite a glut and falling world market prices, the Pakistani exporters are expected to give better performance over their competitors because of freight advantage as well as price.

Govt may earn $21m from auto-part exports

Pakistan's autopart exports will bring in $21 million in 2000-01, as compared to $12 million it secured in 1999-2000, due to sizable orders coming from abroad.

"We expect to go beyond $21 million in 2000-01 as our members have acquired a number of orders from Europe and America," informed the Chairman, Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers(PAAPAM) Jawaid Sheikh on Tuesday.

As a result of rising demand of our parts abroad, "PAAPAM has informed the Commerce Minister Razzak Dawood about the targets fixed by the association from 2001-02 to 2004-05, ranging from $32 million to $110 million respectively," he said.

Traditional countries, offering autoparts, are losing their market due to high wages and other inputs and Pakistani parts, after finding international acceptance, are now in a position to get a share.

Imported tin plates pile up at port

Around 15,000 to 20,000 tons of imported tin plates are piled up at the port, as iron and steel merchants have stopped clearance due to Rs10,000 per ton increase in regulatory duty since February 16.

An additional import consignment of 5,000 tons of tin plate is expected to be loaded down at the port next week, Chairman Pakistan Tin Plate Merchants Association (PTMA), Haji Tasleem Qureishi told on Wednesday.

He said the market is facing shortage of imported tin plate and some traders have already started demanding Rs2,000 per ton more from the customers to cash the opportunity.

Hurdles in export sample clearance

The Chairman of Pakistan Bedwear Exporters Association (PBEA) Shabir Ahmad has blamed the customs authorities for creating hurdles in clearance of samples and transparencies, which will eventually obstruct the exporters in Pakistan to meet the delivery schedule with their buyers in foreign countries.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, he said foreign clients normally send their packing and printing transparencies as well as samples to exporters through courier services to ensure quick delivery.

Review on tea import duties

National Tariff Commission has decided to review the duty structure of black tea imported into Pakistan. AN NTC press release issued on Tuesday says that M/s Lever Brothers have applied to the commission for review of duty structure applicable to the import of tea in organized sector.

The applicant has stated that 25 per cent customs duty is presently leviable on the import of tea under tariff heading number 0902.4000.

This, they have pleaded, has encouraged smuggling of tea into Pakistan. The smuggled tea is sold at prices below than those charged by the duty-paying sector on imported commodity, they added.

Egypt wants to improve trade ties

Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Ebeid has assured the chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, that his government will make concerted efforts to increase trade with Pakistan.

Mr Ebeid held out this assurance late Saturday at a meeting with the CE and leading Pakistani and Egyptian businessmen.

"Mr Chief Executive, we are serious to do business with Pakistan". The Egyptian leader said he had asked Egyptian-American Businessmen to suggest the countries with whom Egypt should select as partners in trade.

Duty on CKD kits import

The government is likely to maintain the import duty on completely knocked down (CKD) kits for the auto assemblers, varying from 15-35 per cent, in the ensuing budget 2001- 2002.

The import duty on sub-components for the vendor industry is likely to be cut by five per cent in the coming fiscal budget, an official of the automotive group of the Engineering Development Board (EDB) told on Monday.

Trade ties with D-8 states

A special task force headed by the Vice President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has been set up to draw up a detailed working plan to develop trade and economic ties with the D-8 countries.

The FPCCI President, Iftikhar Ali Malik, on his return from Cairo after attending the D-8 summit on Tuesday told reporters that the central banks of each of the D-8 countries Malaysia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nigeria, Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan are expected to provide extra credit facilities for promotion of trade within these countries.