A good crop expected to push kino exports to
115,000 tonnes this season
By SYED M.
Dec 03 - 09 , 2001
Kino, the citrus hybrid, has become a signature
Pakistani fruit in many parts of Europe and Far East. To those who
love sweet tangerines and/or have tasted easy-to-peel mandarins, kino
is the cross between the two- sweet, tangy and full of vitamin.
The most-valued proof of Pakistani agricultural
research most suitable for farming in the benevolently ideal soil in
many parts of Punjab, the most notable being Sarghoda, Kino is the top
foreign exchange earner among all fresh fruit exports surpassing even
the delectable mango. Last fiscal it earned precious foreign exchange
of $ 16.3 million from exports which totalled 97,000 tonnes, almost 50
per cent of which was exported to the Far Eastern markets of Jakarta,
Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and also Hong Kong which shows a much
A good crop this season, which has started pouring
into the markets recently, is expected to push kino exports to 115,000
tonnes this season. However, much depends of a number of external
factors to help achieve the expected target.
Talking to PAGE the chairman of
Karachi-based Fruits Vegetables Processors and Exporters Association,
Mateen Siddiqui said that a stronger rupee resulting in shedding of Rs
4 per dollar in the interbank exchange rate in the wake of September
11 plus the levy of war insurance surcharge poses challenges for the
kino exporters this season.
Siddiqui said that the increased insurance costs
has pushed the freight prices by a substantial $300-400 hundred over
the last year depending on the destination. It may be mentioned here
that unlike many other fruits and vegetables the entire kino exports
are shipped the sea in refrigerated containers to maintain the quality
to reach the foreign markets in the prime condition. He said that
increased insurance costs has pushed the freight charges on 40-foot
container which contains approximately 24 tonnes to Indonesia and
Philippines to $ 2,800 at present compared to $ 2,400 last year.
Similarly, freight charges to other destinations such as Singapore,
Malaysia and Hong Kong have increased from $ 1,900 last year to $
2,200 at present.
Siddiqi said kino exports requires a strict quality
control, grading and waxing process to ensure that only the best
quality kinos are exported. He informed PAGE that the
government fixes a minimum FOB export price which is revised every 15
days. Thus till December 15, the minimum export price is fixed at Rs 8
per kilogram, a rupee over the price till November 30. He said that
average export price of kino last year was between 16-18 cents per
kilogram which is expected to increase this year provided the grading
and waxing of the fruit meets the expectations of the foreign buyers.
He said that while Middle East is the major market
of the kino in terms of quantity, the best prices of the citrus comes
from the smaller markets of Holland and Sweden. For instance the
average price of kino in Holland, which imported just 830 tonnes of
the fruit last year, was 54 cents per kilogram- three-time the
He said that attempts to make Hong Hong a major
destination of Kino has started to materialize as it is received
warmly there. Siddiqui, who was a member of delegation which attended
a kino show in Colombo, Sri Lanka on November 16-17, said that he was
encouraged by the response which resulted in exports of kino to the
island nation. According to reports over 30 containers have already
been shipped to Colombo.
While Dubai is also a major destination of Kino the
market more or less remain a buyers market absorbing the surplus
stocks at comparatively lower prices than the pricey markets of Europe
and the Far East. However, Dubai serves as the distribution point for
Pakistani citrus to many smaller hubs in the gulf region playing a
vital role to help increase the export base in terms of quantity.
Siddiqui stressed that instead of offering any
rebate or subsidy the government should ensure that the aid of $ 300
million given to the government to cover the increased war insurance
costs is provided to the kino exporters to absorb the increased
freight charges. It is only fair to divert the aid towards the
specific purpose it was intended for, he added.
Kino exports are on a constant increase. It
registered almost 200 per cent increase in last five years — from $
5.5 million in 1995-96 to $ 16.3 million last year. The bulk of the
top graded and more expensive kino fruit is exported to Indonesia and
Singapore which accounts for 30 per cent while Jeddah, London and
Holland account for 10 per cent of the exports. Dubai, the ungraded
and comparatively lower-priced market serves as a distribution points
to other gulf states such as Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain etc. Nevertheless,
as mentioned earlier Dubai plays a vital role to absorb any and all
kino surplus despite the fact that on any given day kino prices remain
less than one-fourth of that in the markets in the Far East.
Siddiqui said that it is imperative that a good
kino production this year should be translated into record exports
which is only possible with a helping hand from the government by
providing money to help neutralise the substantial increase in