Traders disinterested in wheat exports | Pakistan Today

Traders disinterested in wheat exports

ISLAMABAD: Exporter have shown no interest in purchasing wheat from government stocks even ten days after the ban on export of wheat and wheat products was lifted, official sources said. The Ministry of Commerce had notified changes in the Export Policy Order 2009 on December 13 allowing exports of wheat and wheat products after a gap of three years. The sources termed the current international price of $ 327 per tonne as the main reason for the lack of interest from exporters.
Exporters, sources said, could profitably export wheat to Gulf, Middle Eastern and other Asian countries if its international prices increased by at least $ 10 per tonne. The exporters would have to procure wheat from Punjab Food Department that has stocks of 5.5 million tonnes. The provincial government had obtained a loan of Rs 174 billion for wheat procurement from commercial banks and is incurring massive losses in interest payments.
Pakistan had a bumper crop of 23.8 million tonnes in 2009-10, out of which government agencies procured 6.7 million tonnes. The government had a carry forward stock of 4.2 million tonnes from the last year’s crop. The government had stocks of 8.5 million tonnes on December 17. The annual consumption is estimated at 22 million tonnes of wheat, which provides an exportable surplus of 2 million tonnes. The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) had approved export of 1 million tonnes of wheat on December 7. The permission was given keeping in view that the price of locally procured wheat was at a break even level with the international prices and wheat exports were possible without involving any subsidy.

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