21 - 27, 2002
Steel pipe export to Sri Lanka declines
Pakistan's steel pipe exports to Sri Lanka have
declined to between $1.5-2 million in the last one year from $5-6
million as a consequence of a free trade agreement signed by the Sri
Lankan government with India in early 2001.
As a result of the free trade agreement, Sri Lanka
has slashed the customs duty on its imports of G.I. pipes and
rectangular and square tubes from India to a mere four per cent from
the previous 14 per cent. The importers of Pakistani pipes still have
to pay a duty of 14 per cent due to the absence of a free trade
agreement, Mian Shafqat Ali, leading steel pipes producer and
exporter, told on Tuesday.
He said the "reduction in the customs duty on
the Indian pipes had given the Indians a price advantage of close to
$40 per ton". Pakistan exports steel pipes to Sri Lanka and other
nations at an f.o.b. price of $400 per ton — the international rate
with a $5-10 per ton difference. "The Sri Lankan importers are
ready to pay us a premium of five per cent on our products due to our
superior quality," Mian Shafqat asserted. "A free trade
agreement with Sri Lanka in the near future can help us regain our
lost market share there," he said.
Pakistan's annual exports of steel pipes —
rectangular/square tubes used in furniture and windows, G.I. pipes
used for domestic water and gas lines, and high pressure pipes used by
the industry and gas and oil companies — stands around $10 million.
Importing countries include Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, US, UAE, UK,
Only two manufacturers of steel pipes —
International Industries Ltd in Karachi, and Ramna Pipe and General
Mills in Lahore — are in the export business.
The global export market of the steel pipes is
stated to be close to $27 billion a year with the US, Western Europe,
Australia, and Japan being the biggest importers. Major exporting
nations include Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and India.
Wheat export subsidy on cards
The government has decided to provide subsidy on
export of wheat and wheat products to private sector for disposing of
about 2 million surplus wheat stocks.
A senior official in the commerce ministry told
that a suitable export subsidy on export of wheat and wheat products
through sea ports was under way.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Livestock
(MINFAL) had already recommended to the government to export surplus
wheat latest by April 30, 2002.
The MINFAL in its report said that since sizeable
surplus was available and new wheat crop would start arriving in April
2002 disposal of surplus was utmost necessary.
The government has targeted to export 1.5 million
tons wheat till April 4, 2002 by private sector, TCP and Pakistan
Agriculture Storage and Supply Corporation (PASSCO).
ATT import value falls by 46.2pc in Dec
The import value of Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) fell
by 46.21 per cent to Rs492 million in December of the current
financial year against Rs914.783 million during the same month last
Official figures made available on Wednesday showed
that the total import value of ATT in the first six months of the
current financial year declined by 21.14 per cent to Rs4.14 billion
against Rs5.25 billion over the corresponding months of last year.
Official sources told that following the US-led
attacks on Afghanistan, the import value of the ATT came to a
standstill. Moreover, the Afghan importers were reluctant to take
their goods into Afghanistan on the plea that it was not safe.
The Afghan importers had also sought permission
from the Pakistani government to allow them to clear their goods in
Pakistan while paying full taxes.
Trade with CAR, Afghanistan
Federal government's decision allowing export of 18
more items through land route from NWFP to Afghanistan and Central
Asian Republics (CARs) has apparently failed to satisfy the NWFP trade
and business circles, as they stick to their demand of total
withdrawal of restrictions on trade through land from this part of the
country to CARs. Export of a total of 32 items is allowed from NWFP to
Afghanistan and CARs.
Rice traders fail to strike deal with Iran
For the second time in two years, an Iranian
delegation that came to buy Irri-9 and Basmati varieties of rice from
local market left Pakistan empty-handed as traders were unable to
guarantee a steady supply.
The five-member Iranian delegation, led by the
managing director Government Trading Corporation (GTC) Mujtaba Ansari,
wanted to purchase 15,000 tons of Irri-9 and same quantity of Basmati
but were disappointed.
About two years ago Iranians sought 70,000 tons of
Irri-9 but Pakistani exporters expressed their inability to meet the
Trade sustains Sept 11 shock but fears loom
Although the external trade had sustained the
shocks of September 11 and its aftermath, the worse was yet to come as
uncertainty still prevailed, industry sources said on Saturday.
Government officials had feared a shortfall of over
one billion dollars in $10.1 billion export target as a consequence of
the terror attacks in the United States. However, Pakistan's exports
of 4.45 billion dollars for the first six months of fiscal 2001-02
year were better than expected.