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Apr 09 - 15, 2001

PARCO accepts bid for export of petrol

The Pak-Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO) announced, on Tuesday, of accepting the highest bid for the export of 300,000 tons surplus petrol at the rate of $240 per metric ton.

The company said that the country would earn over $75 million per annum but it did not give any details about as to where this surplus commodity is to be exported.

PARCO had recently invited an international tender for the export of surplus motor gasoline which was bid by other sources also at nearly double the premium offer it had received initially from Iran on a bilateral basis.

PARCO officials refused to give further details about the bidding countries, destination of petrol export, possibilities of signing the agreement with the highest bidder for the delivery of first shipment.

The company is also expected to be shortly given permission to export other products including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) if found in surplus to the country's present needs.

The $886 million refinery at Mehmood Kot near Muzaffarabad has a total petroleum products refining capacity of 4.5m tons per annum. A press release said that the refinery is estimated to save $100 million worth of value-added oil products through import substitution.

PARCO relies on crude oil imported from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi which is pumped from Karachi through PARCO's 864km pipeline to the refinery site near Mehmoodkot as part of an integrated operation which includes availability of a pipeline for product transportation up to Machike near Lahore.

Pakistan to lose Rs2 billion on petrol export

Pakistan would lose around two billion rupees in one year on the export of 300,000 metric ton of petrol at the rate of Rs10.97 per litre, sources said.

Pakistan-Arab Refinery (Parco) which accepted bids for the export of 300,000 tons of surplus petrol at the rate of $240 per metric ton, is running on an annual subsidy of over Rs4 billion and the figure goes beyond Rs7 billion if hidden subsidies are included in it.

Experts believe that exporting the motor spirit at a lower rate is double loss to the country which is producing it by offering huge subsidy and then exporting it at the price lower than its production cost.

They say that instead of exporting the motor spirit at the lower price, the government can market the product by slashing its taxes, which will be incentive for motorists to use the motor spirit instead of the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Pakistan, China trade

Vice Minister for Foreign Trade Peoples Republic China An Min said on Wednesday that Pak-China bilateral trade has touched a record $ 1.1 billion mark during the year 2000.

He was speaking at a seminar, organised by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) at a local hotel.

He said that the bilateral and economic relations between China and Pakistan has witnessed a history of five decades and China is satisfied with the cooperation in economic and technology, investment, foreign assistance and trade.

Tinplate exports

Food grade tinplates worth $70,000 have been exported to India via Dubai. The shipment left for its foreign destination about a couple of weeks back, a senior official of the tinplate manufacturing company said on Wednesday.

Total exports, aside from the recent shipment of tinplates, stand at $20 million a year. The company went into production of tinplates in June 1999.

The company has been allowed monopoly in the local market because of the recent, heavy raise in the duty on the imported tinplates. It is selling its prime quality tinplates in the local market for Rs34,000-38,000 per ton and secondary quality for Rs30,000-34,000 per ton.

Export finance rate up

The State Bank has enhanced export finance rate from 9 to 10.5 per cent to meet a key condition of the $596 million IMF standby credit.

This is the second upward revision in export finance rate within two and a half months: on January 16 SBP had raised the rate from 8 to 9 per cent as the first step toward eliminating subsidy on export finance as asked by the IMF.

SBP said in a circular on Saturday that exporters of locally manufactured machinery would also get export finance at 10.5 per cent instead of 9 per cent. The circular said export finance rate for exporters of bleached or unbleached cloth had been enhanced from 11 to 12.5 per cent.

Enlisting for rice export

Pakistan is trying to enlist as a "source country" for rice in the Philippines to compete with Vietnam, Thailand and China and to participate in the tenders.

"Our embassy in Manila, in consultation with commerce ministry, is making efforts to get Pakistan registered as a source country for rice with the National Food Authority (NFA) of the Philippines," chairman Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), Masood Alam Rizvi told on Saturday.

Molasses export lowered

The exchequer has suffered a loss of $7 million in foreign exchange, because of lesser export of molasses during the current season.

On an average, approximately 0.6 million tons of molasses is exported during the peak period of two months of January and February, every year. However, exporters this season could not meet the target owing to a prolonged strike of transporters, which resulted in export to the tune of 0.4 million tons.

At present molasses price in the world market is ranging from $37-$38 per ton. As a result of lesser exports, the country could only earn around $14 million on an average price of $35 per tone. In case the target of 0.6 million tons was achieved, there would have been earning of $21 million, during the two months peak season.