Jan 22 -
Wheat export to Baghdad, Kabul, Tehran targetted
The government is targetting Iraq, Iran and
Afghanistan to export 800,000 tons of wheat this year, out of one
million ton surplus from the stocks.
Negotiations with Iraq are in the final stages and
the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) which is the exporting
agency expects the finalization of shipment arrangements very soon.
The government has already allocated 300,000 tons
of wheat for export to Iraq. Pakistan is striving hard to sell around
800,000 tons of wheat — 300,000 each to Iraq and Afghanistan and
200,000 tons to Iran out of surplus of one million tons of wheat.
"Our Ambassador in Iraq is negotiating with
Iraqi government to sell the surplus wheat from Pakistan,"
Chairman TCP, Masood Alam Rizvi told on Thursday.
"Iraq requires wheat quality that contains 26
per cent vet gluten and we have sent six samples report of wheat a
week back out of which five samples met the requirement of Iraq,"
TCP has also asked the ministry of food,
agriculture and livestock (MINFAL) to further provide details about
the wheat qualities which contain vet gluten.
Selling wheat to foreign buyers is really difficult
as every country demands quality as per their peoples' preference.
"This is a handicap in wheat to reveal the variety as compared to
rice," he said.
"We may face some problems in the first year
to sell surplus wheat due to identification of variety. Things will
improve next year when we will be able to know proper quality
requirements of each country," Rizvi said.
He said Pakistan is currently competing with South
America, Canada, Australia and India in the global market.
On refusal of rice deal with Iran, he said that
actually Iran has agreed to buy wheat from Thailand and Vietnam.
Export finance rate up by 1pc
The State Bank has raised export finance rate from
8 to 9 per cent from Tuesday to meet a key IMF condition tagged with
its $596 million standby credit programme.
A SBP circular issued to all banks said banks would
charge a maximum of 9 per cent interest rate from all eligible
exporters save those engaged in bleached or unbleached cloth's export:
they would continue to get export finance at 11 per cent.
"It is like one more nail in the coffin,"
said Majyd Aziz, a former chairman of SITE Association of Industry.
"The authorities have already said that the
export target of ten billion dollars is over-ambitious. After increase
in export finance rate we might not even reach nine billion dollars
mark," he said.
Garment exports fall
Pakistan's exports of garments to Saudi Arabia has
declined by more than 33 per cent from 21 million Saudi Riyal in 1997
to 14 million Saudi Riyal in 1999, says a report by EPB on Tuesday.
The report said that there was a bright prospect
for increasing this share if Pakistani exporters supply quality and
design garments to this market.
Saudi Arabia is a big market for readymade
garments. There are two major consumer segments of the garments in
Saudi Arabia. One segment is local population and foreign workers in
The second is pilgrims traffic which is always six
to seven million per annum.
Rice exporters under pressure
Unlike the previous year, rice is not the victim of
production glut. On an average, three rice loaders remain lying at the
port loading the commodity.
The outflow is fairly steady as there appears to be
a virtual war at the wharves to meet the shipment deadlines.
Both the KPT and the customs are at work round the
clock, judiciously trying to facilitate speedy outflow of the export
goods under the 'one window' operations.
Tea consumption at Rs12.7 billion
Pakistan annual tea import bill has swelled to
$220m (approximately Rs12.76 billion), a massive figure viewed in the
backdrop of meagre foreign exchange reserves of $1.2bn and matching
exports of some primary commodities to compensate for the trade
Many may not readily believe that the annual
consumption figure of tea has already touched the high mark of 100,000
tonnes and market sale projections are that an annual total could rise
to 500,000 tonnes, during the next decade based on the current rate of
Railways wagons to Sri Lanka
Pakistan Railways has completed the execution of
export order from Sri Lanka for supply of 40 covered bogie freight
wagons and the last consignment of 26 wagons was loaded on Tuesday at
Karachi, aboard a PNSC Ship MV Sibi.
The export order was fetched by Pakistan Railways
Advisory and Consultancy Services (PRACS), a subsidiary of Pakistan
Railways. The order was executed against a $5 million credit line,
offered by Pakistan to Sri Lanka for purchase of engineering goods.
From this amount, $3 million were utilized in manufacture and export
of 40 freight bogie.
France seeks Pakistani fruit
French government has asked Pakistan to form a
large export group comprising big reputable local businessmen, who can
ensure large and regular supplies of fruits to Paris.
France has emphasized Islamabad to immediately
bring about improvements essentially in its fruit quality control,
grading, and packing system for the promotion of export of agriculture
products to foreign countries.
Govt slaps punitive duties on imports
All imported products, which enjoy subsidy of up to
three per cent of the actual cost from the exporting country, have
been subjected to countervailing duties on arrival in Pakistan.
The subsidy rate for imposition of duty is one per
cent for goods imported from developed countries, two per cent for the
developing countries and three per cent for the least-developed