Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan - Reversing trends

Published: March 30, 2013


Pakistan meets kinnow export target

* Exports worth $132.7m recorded during Dec-Mar 2012-13

By Tanveer Sher 

KARACHI: Pakistan after losing the target of kinnow exports for the last three years, has finally met the target this year with export of over 200,000 tonnes of the fruit.
During the past four months, the country has exported 221,000 tonnes of the citrus fruit worth $132.70 million while further export of around 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes is expected in the remaining 20 days of this season making the final export figure to around 230,000 tonnes this year, said Waheed Ahmed Chairman All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) on Friday.
Fixing a date for export of kinnow this year by the Ministry of Commerce as suggested by PFVA has played a pivotal role in meeting the target as the exporters had been facing huge losses due to unplanned and premature export of the fruit in previous years. 
The Ministry through a SRO 1362(1)/2012 issued on November 8, 2012 while making amendments in clauses/rules of export Policy Order 2009, the export of fresh kinnow had banned before this month (December) to avoid the losses through export of poor quality fruits.
As a result of which, he claimed, the better quality fruit with its utmost taste, flavour and colour hse been liked and consumed by foreign markets throughout the season.
The demand for the fruit continues in various countries besides it yielded substantial revenue to the national exchequer. This way the value/price of the fruit in international market was also encouraging.
Around 40 percent export of the fruit has been made to Russia while the rest of exports were made to Gulf countries, Bangladesh, Eastern Europe, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Canada, Malaysia and others.
However, the loss of Iranian market as a result of US sanctions and following reluctance in issuing E form by Pakistani banks has caused exporters with losses of a lucrative market of 80,000 tonnes of kinnow depriving the country of $40 million worth foreign exchange. 
Indonesian market also remained untapped despite an already signed preferential trade agreement waiting for finalising formalities. Indonesia can potentially be a market of 54,000 tonnes, but the current export level is nowhere near that in the absence of implementation of the trade agreement between the two countries.
Another major hindrance faced by the kinnow exporters during the current season was the transporters strike, which kept the export of perishable items halted for over 11 consecutive days causing further losses to the tune to $10 million. Pakistan according to him had exported 225,000 tonnes of kinnow in previous season.
China and African countries could also be lucrative destinations to Pakistani fruits in near future with little efforts on the part of exporters and concerned authorities, he added. 
However, trade with India could not be sustainable since the trust deficit on both sides prevails. Abdul Wahid former Chairman PFVA said Pakistani kinnow exports could be enhanced manifold if the exporters target European markets.
Over the years export of the citrus fruit has been very dismal to some 27 European countries mainly due to poor cosmetic appearance of the fruit.
European countries are very sensitive with regard to cosmetic appearance of all fruits and falling short of their set standard makes it virtually impossible for any fruit to penetrate the lucrative market which has potential of absorbing billions of dollars of worth of fruit.