12 - 18, 2001
US wants more textile imports from Pakistan
The Bush administration wants Congress to write legislation
allowing a freer flow of Pakistani textile products into the United States, US
Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said on Tuesday.
The move is part of a broader administration effort to reward
Pakistan for cooperating with US efforts to topple Afghanistan's ruling Taliban
and apprehend Osama bin Laden. But at the same time, the administration is
mindful of the difficult economic times the US textile industry has hit upon in
recent months and the impact a flood of Pakistani imports would have
Zoellick, in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations,
said the Bush administration's goal is "to try to reduce tariffs and to try
to support Pakistan's overall economic growth programme."
About 85 per cent of Pakistan exports are textile products.
The United States imports about $2 billion worth annually.
Earlier this month, the American Textile Manufacturers
Association, which represents the US industry, indicated it would support a
limited loosening of restrictions on Pakistan's textile exports.
For example, an ATMI official said the organization would
support duty-free entry for hand-knotted and hand-hooked floor coverings from
Pakistan, a move that would be worth about $100 million a year to Pakistan. But
the US industry was resisting broader exceptions to the limits on Pakistan's
Zoellick said one of the points he made to the Pakistanis is
that the US textile industry has lost about 600,000 jobs and been forced to
close 200 to 300 plants.
Petroleum prices slashed nominally
The Oil Companies Advisory Committee on Wednesday slashed the
prices of petroleum products by 0.46 per cent to 8.17 per cent. The new prices
will be effective from Nov 1 to 15.
The new price of petrol is fixed at Rs30.26 per litre from Rs
30.51 per litre, and high speed diesel (HSD) is priced at Rs 16.59 per litre
from Rs17.33 per litre.
High Octane Blending Component (HOBC) will be available at
Rs34.32 per litre from previous Rs34.48 per litre. Kerosene oil is now tagged at
Rs 14.94 per litre from Rs16.27 per litre. JP-4 and light diesel oil prices have
been fixed at Rs14.11 and Rs14.02 per litre as against Rs14.72 and Rs14.48 per litre.
The OCAC attributed the price cut to decline in product
prices, says a press release.
Yarn exports decline by 15pc in Oct
There is a sharp fall in the off-take of yarn in the domestic
as well as world market after Sept 11, resulting in erosion of prices and higher
inventory of the produce with spinning mills, industry sources said on
The unsold stocks of yarn lying with the mills during the
month of October swell by 30 per cent over the stocks held in the same period
last year. Similarly, export of yarn declined by 15 per cent and that of fabric
by 8 per cent during the month, sources said.
The price of 30 counts yarn has slipped down by around 20 per
cent at Rs460 per bundle of 10 lb from Rs500 per bundle. In the same way the 20
count yarn moved lower to Rs365 per bundle or 10 lb from Rs400.
Sugar prices go up
Sugar prices have gone up by Re1 to Rs2 per kg to Rs23-24 per
kg from Rs21 per kg just a day before Shab-e-Barat falling on Thursday-Friday
Shab-e-Barat is an occasion when Muslims prepare halwa using
sugar as the main ingredient. Rising demand for sugar has led to price increase.
Retailers attributed the price hike to holding back of stocks
by the millers to fetch higher prices in view of rising demand.
The wholesale prices of sugar has come down to Rs19 per kg
from Rs24 per kg in the last one month. Just two days ahead of Shab-e-Barat,
sugar millers had stopped releasing the stocks which caused the price hike.
Razak assures higher rates for fine cotton
The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has decided to
purchase premium cotton qualities (Grade-I and II) from the market to encourage
farmers towards better quality and contamination-free produce.
Speaking at a news conference, Commerce Minister Abdul Razak
Dawood said the government focused more emphasis on quality cotton because it
would take "us to more value addition as envisaged under the textile
vision-2005". Till last year, the corporation picked up only the grade-III
cotton, he said.
Medium term outlook for the economy
For the past two years, the State Bank annual reports have
tended to be more objective and have provided detailed information required by
an emerging market.
Business needs accurate information and data to take right
decisions in an regulated economy moving towards a free market. Transparency
also provides equality of opportunity and weakens the system of patronage
practised in a regulated economy.
The State Bank's annual review of the economy indicates the
elements of future present in the outgoing year. In brief observations hinting
as to how the future would shape, it helps to form views about the directions
things are likely to move. The quarterly SBP reports keep the business updated
on the economic environment in which it has to operate.
State Bank warns of lower GDP growth
The State Bank has warned of lower-than-targeted growth in
Pakistan's gross domestic product during this fiscal year in case of a
"more protracted and extended war" in Afghanistan and in the wake of a
global recession. The central bank warns that GDP growth in July/June 2001-02
could range between 2.5-3.75 per cent against the target of 4 per cent.
In its annual report for fiscal 2000-01 released on Monday,
the SBP says that the Sept 11 attacks (on the US soil) have further intensified
the global recession which are clearly shown in financial markets the world
Wheat target fixed at 20.1m tons
The Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) on Monday fixed
target of wheat at 20.1 million tons for the upcoming season.
The provinces were asked to prepare a wheat production plan
and strategy to achieve this target.
The decision to this effect was taken in meeting presided
over by minister for food and agriculture Khair Mohammad Junejo.
The production targets of gram and lentil were also fixed at
580,000 tons and 40,000 tons respectively.