Jan 15 -
Iran refuses to purchase wheat
The ongoing negotiations between Islamabad and Tehran for the
sale of Pakistani wheat worth $30 million to Iran have finally collapsed as
Iranian Trading Corporation has refused to buy the commodity.
Tehran and Islamabad were trying to strike a deal for the
import of 200,000 tons of wheat, for the last six months.
Official sources told on Wednesday that the Chairman Trading
Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), Masood Aalam Rizvi, has disclosed to the
government that " The Tehran government, through a telex message, has
informed that it had put Islamabad in its quarantine regulations list and they
are not in a position to import wheat from Pakistan'.
He has further disclosed that the Iranian government had also
refused to buy Pakistani rice on grounds of the high price demanded for the
commodity by the TCP authorities.
Sources said Mr Rizvi, in a SOS to the commerce ministry, has
requested to immediately contact Pakistan's ambassador in Tehran to make last
time efforts at the diplomatic level to get this contract by convincing Iranian
authorities to buy the wheat from Pakistan — which has 1 million tons of
surplus wheat this year.
Earlier, the sources maintained that Mr Rizvi had informed
the concerned federal government authorities that Government Trading Corporation
(GTC) of Iran, vide their telex message No 16/34887 dated January, 1, 2001 had
informed the corporation that Pakistani wheat had been placed on the quarantine
The TCP chairman told the federal government officials that
responding to this "abrupt development", "we took up the matter
with the GTC Iran by sending them a letter the very next day and confirmed to
them that Pakistani wheat is free from any disease and pests as apprehended by
Seafood exports up by 8.76%
Pakistan's seafood exports have witnessed an increase of 8.76
per cent to $82.197 million during the first six months of 2000.
According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) on Thursday, the
country exported 42,418 metric tons of seafood including fish and shrimps during
July-December 2000. In the month of December, seafood exports valued at $11.311
Last year, Pakistan exported a higher quantity of seafood
estimated at 47,520 tons but fetched lesser value at $75.577 million.
A leading seafood processor and exporter said that this year
exporters have fetch increased value for their products after the European Union
upgraded Pakistan's status to List I, raising unit value.
He said that Pakistan was now fetching an average price of $2
per kilo for its seafood in European market.
He said the major importers of Pakistani seafood are European
Union, USA, Japan, Gulf countries and China.
He observed that this year seafood exports will surpass last
year's total of $139 million.
Export of textile manufactures falls
A substantial decrease in the contribution of textile
manufactures and a slight increase in that of the primary commodities marked the
exports performance of the country during the first half of 2000-01.
According to Federal Bureau of Statistics, textile
manufactures accounted for 62.94 per cent of total exports, down 3.31% from
July-December, 1999, while the primary commodities improved their share in
exports slightly to 12.56%. In the corresponding period of last year, these had
contributed 11.98% to the overall exports.
Total exports during the period under report amounted to
$4.47 billion, 8.34% more than in the first half of 1999-2000.
According to available data, the manufactured exports
totalled $3.91 billion, denoting an increase of about 7.63% over the
corresponding period of previous year. Their share in total exports stood at
87.44%, that is, 0.57% less than in July- December, 1999.
But the contribution of textile manufactures to the
manufactured exports also dropped — from 75.27% in the corresponding period of
previous year to 71.52% this year.
Plan to export 400,000 tons of rice
Planners are looking for export of 400,000 tons of Irri-6
from the new crop in the wake of reports of the mounting rice demand world over
as raging floods are reported to have damaged the crops in traditional 'rice
bowl' countries including Vietnam.
While rice crops have been severely damaged in Vietnam and
other countries, farmers in Pakistan harvested for the second consecutive year
bumper crop of around 2.2 to 2.4m tons Irri-6 and Irri-9. The country is
expected to have an exportable surplus of around l.3 to 1.5 million tons after
meeting domestic consumption of about 0.8 million tons to one million tons.
Foreign trade deficit up to $938m
The deficit in foreign trade of Pakistan soared to $938.09
million during the first half of 2000-01, up 22.32 per cent from the
corresponding period previous year.
According to figures, released by the Federal Bureau of
Statistics (FBS) on Wednesday, a significant aspect of the trade figures is 6.01
per cent decline in exports during December 2000, as compared to December 1999.
Likewise, the imports also showed a decrease of 8.01 per cent.
Pakistan exported 704,537 metric tons of best quality rice
during the first half of the current fiscal year, which is 105,281 metric tons
more than in the corresponding period last year.
The chairman Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP),
Shahzad Ali Malik, said on Wednesday that rice exports registered an increase of
nearly 18 per cent during the period under review, which helped earn $185
million more foreign exchange for the country.
Exporters and Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) are eying a rise
of 20-25 per cent in kinoo exports in the current fiscal year following good
crop prospects and competitive prices of local products in the global markets.