Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pakistan drops 35 pct duty on wheat product exports

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has removed a 35 per cent regulatory duty on the export of wheat products because of a bumper crop this year, and will also export some surplus wheat, the government said.
No final estimate of the size of this year’s crop has been released, but earlier estimates suggested Asia’s third-largest wheat producer was expecting output of about 24 million tonnes, or two million tonnes more than domestic requirements.

The decision to remove the duty on the export of wheat products was taken by the Economic Coordination Committee, the government’s highest economic decision-making body, at a meeting on Tuesday.

‘In order to provide a level playing field to local exporters, the ECC decided to withdraw 35 per cent regulatory duty on the export of wheat products,’ the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

‘The decision was taken in the light of a bumper harvest of wheat this year due to which Pakistan has not only adequate wheat stock to cater for its domestic requirements but is in a position to export surplus as well.’ There were no further details but a Food Ministry official had said in June that the expected good crop would allow Pakistan to export 200,000 tonnes of wheat products this year.

Last week, the state-run Trading Corporation of Pakistan issued a tender for the sale of 230,000 tonnes of imported wheat from its stocks to Pakistani buyers.

Pakistan imposed a ban on wheat exports in 2007 because of shortages and high domestic prices.

The government has bought an estimated nine million tonnes of domestic wheat this year, up from 3.9 million tonnes last year, according to a US Department of Agriculture attache report issued early this month.

Last year, Pakistan produced 21.8 million tonnes of wheat after the area planted fell 2.6 per cent against a target of 8.49 million hectares (21 million acres) and the government had to import to cover the shortfall.

But last September, the government raised the price it pays farmers for wheat by 34 per cent, which encouraged them to grow more this year.— Reuters

No comments:

Post a Comment