KARACHI: The export of kinno will start from Dec 1 despite an expected reduction of 15 per cent in production this season. With a target of 350,000 tonnes, the foreign sales of the fruit will likely to fetch $200 million.
Waheed Ahmed, patron-in-chief of the Palcistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA), said that as the quality of kinno was expected to be comparatively better this year, the reduction in overall production will not affect the targeted revenue.
He said exports of citrus fruits could easily hit $1bn if the government implements the proposals already shared with the ministries concerned by the PFVA.
However, exporters will face stiff competition with exporters of kinnow from Turkey and Morocco, where not only production but price of the fruit is lower than Pakistan. This creates a challenge for Pakistan`s kinno in various traditional markets like Philippine, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.
Exporters say they are tryingtheirbesttonotonlycontain the existing traditional markets but also explore new destinations for the fruit.
The approval of various facilitation centres and export firms by Chinese quarantine experts was part of the drive initiated by the PFVA to tap new markets, Mr Ahmed said. China could be a lucrative market for Pakistani kinno keeping in view the expected cut in cost of exports under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, he said, adding that the PFVA would try to start exporting kinno to China this year.
Exporters will also face another challenge to ship the fruit to world`s largest market in Russia where Pakistani kinno is facing higher duties due to extra valuation by Moscow. Under the present valuation, Pakistan may hardly compete with other countries comparatively paying less duties in Russia.
The PFVA chief said the association and ministries of finance and commerce were trying to resolve the issue at diplomatic front.
He said that due to the reluctance by Iran to issue import permits, Pakistan was unable to tap the huge marl
Last year, Tehran did not issue any import permit for Pakistani kinnos.
The Ministry of Commerce and other authorities concerned should also take up the issue with Iran to open the market for Pakistani fruit, he added.