Pakistan loses key fruit export markets | Pakistan Today

Pakistan loses key fruit export markets

Despite a bumper crop in the country this year, the export of Pakistani Kinnow is expected to be reduced by 0.1 million tonnes against the expected 0.3 million tonnes because of the loss of huge market of Iran. Besides, the Indonesian market, where at least 45,000 tonnes export of the fruit was expected to be made after concluding the already approved Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), also remained untapped because of the negligence of the government.
As the huge market of Iran has already been lost this year under the sanctions imposed by United Nation/United States on the neighboring country, a key fruit export market of the country has been lost. Talking about the reduced export of fruits, Waheed Ahmed Co-Chairman Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) said that unfortunately the country could hardly export around 0.2 million tonnes of kinnow this year; almost 0.1 million less than the target of 0.3 million tonnes despite the bumper crop this season.
The major reason for the drastic reduction in exports was the loss of Iranian market where trade was now already disallowed under the sanctions imposed by UN/US causing huge surplus/stock of the fruit in the country.
Under the sanctions, various banks in the country have stopped issuing E-forms to the exporters of fruit causing huge losses to them. The exporters have lost the opportunity to export around 3000 containers of mandarin orange [kinnow] and as a result there has been a revenue loss of at least $30 million. However, only 10,000 tonnes of the fruit have gone to Tehran via land routes, he added.
Despite serious concerns shown by the association, he said, the issue remained unnoticed by the concerned authorities. The country exports about 60,000 tonnes of kinnow annually to Iran alone which is between 30 per cent and 40 per cent of its total global kinnow trade, sources pointed out. The Indonesian market that the exporters were eying for as an alternative market after Iran also remains untapped this season despite the expected implementation of the Pak-Indonesia PTA.
The PTA already signed at secretary level this year, as claimed by Muhammad Iqbal Tahir, Commercial attaché of Pakistan in Jakarta in a letter sent to PFVA, was scheduled to come into effect this month. The agreement was important in view of the loss of Iranian market, as the exporters could export at least 45,000 tonnes of Kinnow to Jakarta with tariff concession. The PTA was signed at secretary level on October 16 in Jakarta and the zero rated duty regimes could be established after the signing procedure at Ministerial level.
So far, only 87,000 tonnes of kinnow against the expected 0.1 million tonnes have been exported by the mid of January 2012 with total revenue touching only $54 million. The overall export of the fruit is now hardly touching 0.2 million tonnes this year against the target of 0.3 million tonnes.

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