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 1. INTERNATIONAL   2. INDUSTRY
 3. FINANCE  4. POLICY
 5. TRADE  6. GULF

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TRADE

Nov 26 - Dec 02, 2001

Exports down by $260m after Sept 11

Exports declined by 20.98 per cent during September 11- November 10, 2001 to $1 billion against $1.26 billion during the same period last year.

Similarly, the total number of consignments sent abroad decreased from 76,551 to 45,515 this year, down by 40.54 per cent or 31,036 consignments.

Since the US-led attacks on Taliban, exports from Peshawar and Quetta to Afghanistan and to some Central Asian Republics came to a virtual halt between September 29 and November 10, an official source told on Wednesday.

Official figures, released here on Wednesday, said that the export from Peshawar stood at $0.38 million during September 23-29 period against $0.08 million during the same period last year, an increase of 375 per cent. But after September 29, export did not take place from Peshawar till November 10. About 135 consignments were exported during the same period against 126 last year, showing an increase of 7.14 per cent.

Similarly, up to end of September exports from Quetta stood at $5.25 million against last year's $1.69 million, up by 210.65 per cent. However, no export took place after September 29 from Quetta. And about 374 consignments were sent against 456 consignments, showing a decrease of 17.98 per cent during the two comparative periods.

The value of exports at collectorate of exports, Karachi, dropped from 23.08 per cent at $809.07 million during September 11-November 10 period against $1051.89 million of last year for the same period. The number of consignments fell by 48.02 per cent to 33,931 from 65,279 consignments.

The comparative figures for exports at customs collectorate, Hyderabad indicated a drop of 6.89 per cent at $5.4 million from $5.8 million. However, the consignments increased by 8.78 per cent.

Export finance rate down to 10pc

The State Bank has reduced the export finance rate from 12 to a maximum of 10 per cent for December 2001 and has announced to review the rate on monthly basis. Earlier the rate was being reviewed on quarterly basis.

The SBP said in a circular that banks would get refinance from the central bank at 8.5 per cent and add to it a maximum spread of 1.5 per cent while offering export financing to the borrowers. Thus, the effective interest rate that the exporters would have to pay in Dec under export finance scheme comes to 10 per cent.

The circular said next review of the export finance rate would be in January.

0.2m tons sugar export planned

The government is expected to allow the export of around 200,000 tons sugar in the next few weeks through a subsidy on self-export basis.

Commerce and industries minister Abdul Razak Dawood told reporters that it has been decided to present the demand of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) for sugar export before the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet.

The minister said that he held a meeting with PSMA delegation to consider export of 200,000 tons of surplus sugar this season. He said that his ministry had now proposed to allow PSMA to export this surplus commodity on self-help basis and the subsidy involved in the export would be recovered by the government through an extra tax in the coming season. "The final decision would be taken by the ECC," said the minister.

Govt to finance warehouses abroad

The government will encourage and partially fund a consortium of exporters to set up companies in major cities around the world for setting up bonded warehouses.

This was stated by secretary commerce, Mirza Qamar Baig in a meeting held on November 19 with the FPCCI office-bearers and leading exporters at the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

Cut in duty drawback withdrawn

The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has withdrawn the cut in duty drawback rates for the manufacturers of synthetic and leather shoes to boost the footware industry.

The government on Sept 3 had slashed the duty drawback rates on shoes ranging between 4.58 per cent to 11.01 per cent, by amending the budgetary notification SRO413(I)/2001.

Due to the impact of prevailing situation on the country's export and following the persistent demand of the shoe exporters, the CBR again notified the budgetary duty drawback rates on shoes for exporters.

Irri-6 export declines

The country could only export around 40,000 tons from new crop Irri-6 rice against 120,000 tons exported in the corresponding period last year, official sources said. The new crop season has started from Nov 1, 2001.

Due to a steep fall in export of Irri-6 rice, that was exported at an average price of $177 per ton, the country has earned $7.8 million only as against last year's of around $21 million.

Govt plans to resume wheat export

Government of Pakistan plans to resume wheat exports now that the influx of refugees from Afghanistan is much lower than expected, a senior Pakistani government official said on Monday.

Last month, Pakistani government officials said Islamabad might be forced to give up its plan to export one million tons of wheat because of surging demand for emergency food supplies from refugees. But on Monday, Shaukat Usman, joint secretary in Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, said the government was no more thinking in terms of halting exports immediately.

Import under ATT falls

The import value of Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) has decreased by 55.65 per cent in October of the current financial year, and stood at Rs0.298 billion against Rs0.672 billion over the corresponding month last year.