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

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TRADE

July 08 - 14, 2002

2M TONS WHEAT MAY BE EXPORTED THIS FISCAL

Pakistan may be in a position to export two million tons of wheat in 2002-03 out of huge carryover stock of 3.7 million tons from the previous year.

During the wheat year (May to May) 2001-02, the total quantity of wheat exported by Pakistan could not go beyond 5,65,000 tons almost half of the quantity projected by the Government. Most of these exports went to Middle East and Afghanistan.

The wheat exported to Afghanistan, a source in the Ministry of Food & Agriculture (MINFAL) told on Tuesday, was in fact purchased by the World Food Programme for distribution in that country.

The carry over stock of 3.7 million tons includes one million tons of strategic reserves. Pakistan thus has a surplus of around 2.7 million tons. Official quarters hope to export 2 million tons.

Accordingly, the government has offered generous incentives to exporters in the form of export rebate. The minimum export price fixed by the government is Rs8,250 per ton. The exporters will qualify for export rebate at the rate of Rs3,200 per ton.

According to the provisional estimates, the output of wheat this year will be 18.47 million tons as against the target of 20 million tons. Experts attribute the shortfall to a variety of factors decline in acreage from 81,80,900 hectares in 2000-01 to 79,83,500 hectares in the current harvest, reduction in irrigation water, increase in cost of inputs, etc.

Fewer hectares devoted to wheat, they pointed out, were the farmer's response to the low prices ranging from Rs240 to Rs260 per 40 kg at which they had to dispose of their product in 2000-01.

In that year, the government had imposed restrictions on inter-district movement of wheat, thus dissociating itself from its own commitment implicit in the minimum support of Rs300 per 40 kg fixed by it. The commission agents and other traders, taking undue advantage of the situation, paid dismally low prices.

SIALKOT BUSINESS MAY HAVE DIRECT TRADE WITH CHINA

China has offered to lease out 450 shops and offices in Shuang, an international World Trade Centre in Urumqi (China), to the Sialkot business community besides offering some direct trade relations.

The offer was made by the Chinese businessmen while addressing a joint meeting of local traders, industrialists and exporters at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), on Wednesday, after visiting various industrial units, in Sialkot city and it's outskirts.

The Chinese delegation said that China and Pakistan, the two brotherly countries, are enjoying healthy trade relations, but still there exists vast scope of expanding this relationship.

BAGHDAD ACCEPTS 31,000 TONS WHEAT

Iraq has accepted the second shipload of 31,000 tons of wheat, replacing the earlier one, and presently the cargo is being unloaded at the Iraqi port, official sources said on Tuesday.

After winning a contract of 100,000 tons of wheat under UN programme of 'oil for food' for Baghdad, the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) had last year shipped the wheat but, on some ground, Iraq rejected two vessels of around 31,000 tons each.

After re-negotiating the contract, Baghdad agreed to allow TCP to replace the same quantity at an fob price of 214 euro per ton, the sources said. However, the first vessel of around 31,000 tons, replacing last year's rejected consignment shipped early last month, was also rejected by Baghdad, and the TCP had to sell it to a private party of Dubai at c&f price of $115 per ton.

PS TO START EXPORT

Pakistan Steel (PS) will start exporting its products to various countries in the next three months after receiving some serious enquiries from various foreign buyers.

This was stated by chairman Pakistan Steel, Lt-Col Mohammad Afzal Khan in a meeting with members of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Tuesday.

PAKISTAN, THAILAND TO TRADE IN OWN UNITS

Pakistan and Thailand have agreed to start counter trade in their respective currencies for boosting bilateral trade, and proposed to form a rice exporting consortium of four Asian States including India and the Philippines for organized export of rice around the world.

TURKISH ADDITIONAL QUOTA TO BOOST TIES

Additional market access for textile exporters by Turkey worth $11 million per annum will post fresh resilience to country's exports.

An extra 3000 tons of textile quota to Turkey during 2002-03, will further deepen trade ties between the two countries, sources at textile industry said on Monday.

Turkey was asked for greater market access and they agreed to allow extra 3000 tons of exports in any category but not more than 2000 tons in one category, added the sources.

The decision was announced during the Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) meeting, held in Ankara from June 20 to June 21, 2002.

TRADE PACTS WITH MOROCCO

Pakistan has signed two bilateral agreements with Morocco. According to an official statement issued on Thursday, Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood signed one agreement on trade and economic cooperation between Pakistan and Morocco and the other was memorandum of understanding on cooperation between Export Promotion Bureau and Moroccan Centre for Export Promotion (CMPE) with his counterpart.

PAKISTAN RANKED 3RD

Pakistan ranked as the third largest exporter of locally manufactured cotton spindles to various countries during the last year, and producers intend to enhance their share on the world market after making some major changes in the original design.