TRADE

 

Nov 18 - 24 , 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

0.4M TONS PALM OIL IMPORTED IN 4 MONTHS

Pakistan imported more than 0.4 million tons of palm oil during the first four months of the financial year 2002-03, denoting an increase of 23.89 per cent over the corresponding period of previous year.

 

According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics trade figures for the period under review, palm oil import further raised its share in food group import bill to 51.76% as against 39.57% in July-October 2001.

As a fraction of total import bill ($3.79 billion), its share rose further to 4.55% from 2.91% of the same period of previous year. Apart from quantitative increase, $128 per ton increase in its import bill also contributed to the rise in palm oil import bill.

According to the FBS, the total import registered an increase of 13.36% in US dollar over the previous year. In terms of Pakistani currency, however, the increase was of 5.81%, reflecting the rise in its exchange value against the dollar.

The sharp increase in import bill is attributable mainly to 29.87% surge in imports of machinery group, which totalled $839.83 million. Main consumers of foreign exchange in this category were power generating machinery. On its import, the country spent $74.59 million, over 51% more than during corresponding period of previous year.

Likewise, the imports of electrical machinery, etc ($55.23 million), roadmotor vehicles ($132 million), aircraft, ship & boat ($26.30 million) and agricultural machinery ($7.3 million) surged by 59.17%, 29.91%, 66.30%, 78.29% and 85.63%, respectively.

On the other hand, a downward trend is indicated in import of office machines (computers), textile machinery and construction & mining machinery.

Significantly, the first four months of 2002-03 saw a sharp decline of over 0.41 million tons (16.2 per cent) in import of crude oil as compared to the corresponding period of previous year.

FINISHED GOODS EXPORTS UP: JULY-OCTOBER

Exports of finished products rose to approximately $3.19 billion during the four-month period July-October 2002, denoting an increase of 15.16 per cent over the corresponding period of previous year.

Their share in total exports ($3.47 billion) also edged up to 91.65pc as against 91.41pc during the same period of previous year, according to an analysis of provisional foreign trade figures released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics.

About 69.9 per cent of finished product exports were accounted for by textile manufactures. In spite of a growth rate of 14.86 per cent over previous year, their share in finished goods exports indicated a decline of 0.38 per cent.

DUTIABLE IMPORTS UP BY 10PC

The value of dutiable imports up by 10 per cent to Rs141.658 billion during the first four months (July-October) of the current financial year against Rs126.652 billion over the corresponding period of last year.

Official figures, showed that the value of total imports increased by 7.8 per cent to Rs230.617 billion during the July-October period of 2002-03 against Rs213.886 billion during the same period last year.

On the other hand, the value of duty free imports stood at Rs88.959 billion during the same period this year against Rs87.234 billion during the same period last year, showing an increase of 1.97 per cent.

EPB CALLS KINOO EXPORTERS

The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) has called a meeting of kinoo exporters in Lahore on November 16 to discuss the issue of kinoo exports in wooden crates and paper cartons.

The meeting, to be held at the EPB office, has been called by EPB chairman Tariq Ikram. It will also discuss the shipment of mangoes in wooden crates and paper cartons, a fax message of the Bureau to the exporters said.

TRADE LOAN CIRCULARS

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has made changes in its earlier circulars regarding trade loans (for imports and exports only) under FE-25 scheme.

In a circular, the SBP has invited the attention of the Authorized Dealers to its previous Circular letters No 05/EPP.16(326) NFCA-2002 and NO. 07/EPP-16(326)NFCA- 2002 dated August 23, 2002 and September 12, 2002 respectively, regarding trade loans (for imports and exports only) under FE-25 scheme.

FTA WITH INDIA

Commerce and Industries Minister Abdul Razak Dawood hinted at possibility of "Pakistan entering into a free trade agreement (FTA) with India on a reciprocal basis."

DUTY RELIEF ON CNG KITS EXTENDED

The federal government has extended the exemption of customs duty and general sale tax (GST) for yet another five years on import of compressed natural gas (CNG) cylinder, kits and other machinery.

LEATHER GARMENT EXPORTS ON DECLINE

Leather garments exports have recorded a drastic fall of around 57 per cent in October 2002, as compared to October 2001. The exports in July-October 2002 were only $75 million as compared to $142 million during the same period last year, showing a sharp decline of 45 per cent.

Pakistan Leather Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PLGMEA) Fawad Ijaz Khan in a statement said that the decline had actually started from October 2001, after 9/11. Therefore, he said, the decline in leather garments exports during October 2002 is 68 per cent as compared to October 2000.

DATES DEMAND PICKS UP

There is encouraging demand for Pakistani dates from Bangladesh and Indonesia, countries that were recently visited by a delegation of dates exporters.

This was observed in a meeting of the Dates Exporters and Producers Association of Pakistan.

TARIFF RELIEF GRANTED ON 400 ITEMS

Pakistan has granted tariff concessions to four Saarc-member countries on more than 400 items under South Asia Preferential Trade Arrangement (SAPTA) to boost trade with these countries, a senior official told.