Dec 10 - 16, 2001
Five-month trade deficit at $434m
Amid strong indications that exports would remain
$1.5-2 billion short of annual target, Pakistan's trade deficit has
reached $434 million during first five months (July-November) of the
current fiscal year against an annual target of $900 million.
Provisional trade figures available suggest that
total exports during five months (July-November) this year have
amounted to $3.735 billion compared with $3.724 billion recorded in
the same period last year, showing an improvement of 0.29 per cent.
Similarly, five months' imports have amounted to
$4.169 billion compared with $4.641 billion during the first five
months of last year, posting a negative growth of around 10 per cent.
Initial analysis of the trade figures of first five
months suggest that although the trade deficit was within the annual
target parameters, exports target of $10.1 billion would not be
achievable in the existing circumstances. Similarly, the import target
of $11 billion is estimated to remain short of target by $1 billion.
According to Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS),
exports during the first month of November 2001 amounted to $709.966
million compared with $753.940 million achieved in the year-ago
period, showing a decline of 5.8 per cent.
Imports in November stood at $826.587 million, down
from $930.347 million recorded a year earlier, an 11 per cent
decrease. In this way, monthly trade deficit in November amounted to
$116.6 million against $176 million trade deficit of November last
The shortfall in exports would have direct impact
on the overall economy, particularly the revenue target that has
already been slashed to Rs430 million against budgeted target of Rs457
On the imports front, decline has apparently two
main reasons. Slowdown in industrial growth and sluggish economic
activity as a result of post-September 11 events and decline in
petroleum imports, both in terms of quantity and value, again due to
slow industrial and commercial activity and decline in international
Iran to purchase 45,000 tons rice
Iran has agreed to procure 45,000 tons of rice from
Pakistan. This was disclosed by the visiting Iranian minister for
agriculture and plant protection in a meeting chaired by Commerce
Minister Abdul Razak Dawood on Thursday.
Understanding to buy Pakistani rice was reached
during a meeting between Iranian foreign minister and President
General Pervez Musharraf when the former visited Pakistan in Nov.
Gasoline valued at $36m exported
Pakistan exported 170,000 tons of 90 RON lead-free
gasoline worth $36 million to Middle East and Europe since April 13.
A senior official in Pak Arab Refinery Company
Limited (PARCO) said the company is expected to earn $70 million by
the end of June next year.
He told on Thursday that so far 14 consignments
have gone since April at premium price obtained through international
tenders. Petrol is being exported at the average rates ranging between
$214-215 per ton.
Petrol 90 RON has become surplus by some 300,000
tons. The country's annual requirement of petrol is one million tons
The demand of petrol has been declining in the
country since increase in the conversion of vehicles from petrol to
compressed natural gas (CNG). The demand of petrol has fallen by 5.7
per cent in July- October 2,001 to 364,000 tons from 386,000 tons in
the same period of 2,000.
30pc fall in Sialkot exports feared
Businessmen from Sialkot fear a 30 per cent plunge
in the total annual exports of about $650 million from their city due
to massive cancellation of orders in the wake of the Sept 11 events.
All export sectors, except surgical instruments
industry, have been hit very hard by the Sept 11 events and the
ensuing economic slowdown in the US and elsewhere in the world,
Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry president Dawood Chathha
said on Thursday.
Wooden furniture export on rise
The exports of wooden furniture had jumped by more
than 119.5 per cent during the last four years, rising from a modest
$1.89 million during 1996-97 to $4.15 million in 1999-2000.
According to a report compiled by Export Promotion
Bureau (EPB) on Tuesday, this phenomenal rise in furniture export was
due to effective marketing by Pakistani exporters in recent years.
Surplus wheat to be exported
The government has decided to export 1.1 million
tons of wheat through private sector out of a total surplus of over 2
million tons of wheat. The decision was taken at the surplus wheat
disposal meeting presided over by the Federal Finance Minister Shaukat
Aziz on Monday. The country has over two million tons of surplus wheat
which remained undisposed of after Iran declined to import from
Pakistan, saying it was below standard quality and similarly Iraq
cancelled the order midway through, citing the same reasons.
Rice export declines by 4.21pc in 5 months
Pakistan's rice export has declined by 4.21 per
cent to 550,428 tons during the first five months of the current
According to rice exporters on Monday, the value of
exported rice has been estimated at $159.788 million during
Last year Pakistan exported about 563,408 tons
worth $164 million during the same period. The export of brown rice
through Trading Corporation of Pakistan is estimated at 22,689 tons
worth $12.12 million during the period under review.
Wood products worth Rs8.5bn imported
Pakistan imported wood and wood products worth
Rs8,499.3 million during 1999-2000 due to the high rates of
deforestation, a Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE)
Similarly, the country's total exports of wood and
wood products stood at mere Rs381.4 million.