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Aug 13 - 19 , 2001

Petroleum import bill declines by 14 per cent

Pakistan's petroleum import bill during July 2001 amounted to $249 million but declined by about 14 per cent against same month last year. Although the reduction in petroleum import helped in containing trade deficit at $103 million yet it had largest 32 per cent share in the total $786 million import bill of July this year.

Advance data released by Federal Bureau of Statistics showed that reduction in oil imports was mainly because of lower international oil prices. The import of petroleum products during July this year stood at 683,000 tons against 939,000 tons same month last year, showing a decline of 37 per cent.

The import of crude oil on the other hand increased by almost an equivalent size of 35 per cent to 682,000 tons during July 2001 against 478,000 tons same month last year. Against this situation, Pakistan was able to export 112,000 tons petroleum products worth $23 million. The export bill was around 746 per cent higher than $2.6 million oil exports same month last year. Petroleum exports in July were also 37 per cent higher than $16 million during the previous month.

In dollar terms the overall exports in July decreased by 28.23 per cent when compared with preceding month of June last year but increased by 2.14 per cent against July of last year. In rupee terms exports decreased by 27.45 per cent over June 2001, but increased by 24.68 per cent over July of last year.

Exports of textile manufactures during July 2001 had the largest share of $425 million in the total exports of $683 million, although these were lower by 6.4 per cent compared with $454 million same month last year. Separately, raw cotton exports stood at $909,000 against $7.5 million in July last year showing a fall of 88 per cent. Rice exports also registered a nominal decline of 1.5 per cent to $33.279 million.

Carpet exports registered a negative growth of 40 per cent at $22.6 million. Similarly, exports of cutlery, surgical goods, leather and chemicals declined by 57 per cent, 41 per cent, 33 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.

July export up by 2.1pc

Exports in July decreased by 23.6 per cent to $682.9 million when compared with $883.7 million of the previous month (June 2001), provisional trade figures for July said. However, exports during July showed a nominal increase of 2.1 per cent against $668.8 million of July last year.

Similarly, the imports during first month of the current fiscal (July-2001) have amounted to $785.9 million against $801.2 million last year showing a decrease of 1.8 per cent. The imports in July this year also decreased by 8.7 per cent when compared with $861.2 million of June 2001.

In this way, the trade deficit during first month (July- 2001) of the current fiscal amounted to $103.3 million against $132.4 million of the same period last year showing an improvement of 22 per cent. Full year export has been set at $10.1 billion, import target at $11 billion and trade deficit target at $900 million.

Rice export will increase to 3m tons

Rice exporters on Tuesday assured the federal government and farmers that they would increase rice export to three million tons against 2.4 million tons exported last year.

"This should go as a clear cut message to the farmers that they must grow as much paddy as possible, and there would be no problem in its export." This was stated by Minister for Commerce and Industries, Abdul Razak Dawood at a news conference after meeting with rice exporters on Tuesday.

The minister also announced Rs200 and Rs75 per maund additional premium for producing contamination-free and low contaminated cotton qualities respectively to get better export price.

WEXNET fair from 22nd

Foreign diplomats will be invited to visit 'WEXNET 2001', the first exhibition of value-added merchandise produced by women entrepreneurs at Expo Centre starting from August 22.

Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) is organizing this exhibition where about 60 selected women entrepreneurs from Sindh and Balochistan will display their products.

Last vessel carrying wheat leaves for Iraq

The third and the last vessel, carrying 31,565 tons of wheat for Iraq, left early on Tuesday to complete the shipment of contracted quantity of 100,000 tons within 90 days of opening of letter of credit, TCP sources said.

"With the completion of the haulage of 100,000 tons of wheat contracted early this year by the Iraqi Grain Board, Pakistan has emerged successful on the world wheat export map for the first time in its history," a senior official of the TCP said.

Palm oil market bullish

Palm oil market stayed bullish over the past week amid high world prices as well as local demand and dealers said on Tuesday that firm international trends would keep it stable in coming weeks.

"Reports about low output in Malaysia coupled with low domestic stocks prompted buying interest," said Pervez Aminuddin, a dealer in Karachi.

Jordan offers incentives

Pakistan textile industries can boost textile exports to $10 billion a year by availing the attractive package being offered in

Jordan's free trade zones which allow restriction free textile exports to all developed countries particularly the United States.

This was stated by Mohammad Farrukh Qaisar, honorary consul general of Jordan at a reception hosted for Haleem Salfety, director general, Free Trade Zones, Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZs), Jordan here on Tuesday.

Clarification

This is in reference to the news item in the issue of 6-12 August 2001, "Iran to Import Motor Spirit," in which it is implied that Iran has agreed to import, Pakistani refined motor spirit, provided it meets Tehran's specifications.

"It needs to be put on record that Pakistan, through PARCO, has already exported Motor Gasoline at premium prices obtained through international competitive tendering. Todate, over 83,000 tons of 90 RON unleaded Gasoline enjoying a most encouraging premium has been exported to Middle Eastern countries and beyond. It should also be noted that already foreign exchange has been earned for the country, while exports are continuing and are projected to exceed 90,000 tons in the current quarter.