Oct 08 - 14, 2001
Fruit, vegetable exports decline
Fruits and vegetables exports have registered a
phenomenal decline due to suspension of cargo service by foreign
shipping and airlines after September 11 incident.
This was claimed by chairman Fruits and Vegetable
Processors and Exporters Association (FVPEA), Matin Siddiqui.
He told that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)
has been left as exporters only option to send shipments to various
foreign destinations but the national carrier lacks enough cargo space
to handle a sizeable quantity.
Exports of fruits and vegetables have fallen by 70
per cent to European countries followed by 50 per cent to Far East, 35
per cent to Middle East and Gulf Countries and 40 per cent to Sri
Lanka and Bangladesh during September 11 to 28.
"I have informed the EPB on Saturday on this
decline in export after confirming from leading exporters of my
association," he said. He said exports will further go down due
to shortage of space with PIA. "Things may improve a bit if PIA
starts special freighter service," he said. So far PIA has not
started any freighter service.
Mateen said exporters of perishable items now fear
expiry of letters of credit (LCs) due to delay in shipments through
PIA. He said some consignments of mango are still to go to Europe
while other commodities like onion and apple are ready for shipments.
He, however, said that the national carrier has increased the freight
rate for mango to Rs72 per kg from Rs67 per kg last week.
Pakistan's exports of fruits during July-August
stood at $13.58 million (48,464 tons) as compared to $14 million
(14,414 tons) in the same period of 2000. The average unit price (AUP)
declined to $0.28 per kg from $0.43 per kg in July-August 2000. In
vegetables, Pakistan exported 27,194 tons ($4 million) in July-August
2001 as against 26,323 tons ($4.4 million) in the same period of 2000.
The AUP declined by 11 per cent to $0.15 per kg as against $0.17 per
Japan bans bones, products import
Japanese importers of animal bones and its related
products have asked the Pakistani exporters to stop export shipments
from October 4 following the outbreak of mad cow disease in Japan.
Japanese government has officially announced a ban
on import of meat, bone meal and steamed bone meal (including bone
grists), horns meal, blood plasma meal, fish meal, bone grain meal
from all countries of the world including Pakistan. In fact all these
are prohibited for import, sell and produce in Japan on and after
October 4 till the mad cow disease problem is settled. These items are
basically used in the production of fertilizer.
Exports loss to be offset by support
The present decline in exports and revenues will be
offset by budgetary support being offered by the United States, Japan
and other western countries.
The British High Commissioner to Pakistan Hilary
Nicholas Synnott on Tuesday called on Minister for Finance Shaukat
Aziz and assured him that Pakistan's new economic difficulties will be
removed through generous support by the US, Japan and western
Sources in the ministry of finance said that Mr
Aziz has been assured by the British envoy of all possible support.
Pakistan was anticipating substantial reduction in exports as well as
in revenues due to the present situation. "But new inflows are
arriving in the shape of budgetary support and this is how we are
hoping to overcome our economic difficulties," said an official
of the ministry of finance.
War risk surcharge
Pakistan is likely to suffer a loss of nearly 200
million dollars over the next 12 months as a result of the decisions
taken in the last week of September by the London-based Joint War
Committee of Underwriters (JWCU) regarding war risk surcharge for
Textile quota curbs
No headway has apparently been made in Pakistan-US
talks on removal of textile quota restrictions and tariff reduction.
The Pakistan team, led by Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood has not
been able to win any other favour, local business sources, who are in
touch with the team members in the US, told on Thursday.
Edible oil imports
Edible oil imports have begun to recover after
dipping following the attacks on the United States last month, when
shipping companies were reluctant to lift cargo bound for Pakistan,
traders said on Thursday.
EPB gears up efforts
The Export Promotion Bureau will soon convene a
conference of the foreign envoys in Pakistan and dispatch a team of
officials to UK and other countries to allay all the fears and doubts
of the shipping lines, insurers and businessmen about 'war risks' in
"We are watching the situation on day to day
basis," Tariq Ikram, Chairman of the EPB, told on Wednesday. He
said that a 'dynamic action plan' has been prepared to tackle the
current situation being described as the "most telling and nerve
shattering for the policy makers and businessmen." "But, we
are at it," the EPB Chairman declared in a confident tone. He
said that the salient features of the 'Dynamic Action Plan' would be
made known in a day or two.
PIA cargo lifting rises
PIA's cargo lifting has increased to over 1,200
tons per week, which is almost 400 tons more than the normal lifting
in the month of September.
50pc cut in freight
Pakistan is likely to reduce its port and freight
charges to offset rising import-export costs due to levy of war risk
Informed sources said that the cut could be in the
region of 25 to 50 per cent to minimise if not completely compensate
for the war risk insurance factor.