Pakistan, after losing the target of Kinnow exports for the last three years, has met the target this year with export of over 0.2 million tones of the fruit. "During the past four months, the country has exported 221,000 tones of the citrus fruit worth $132.7 million, while further export of around 10,000 to 15,000 tones is expected in the remaining 20 days of this season making the final export figure to around 230,000 tones this year," said Waheed Ahmed Chairman All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) on Friday.
According to him, 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, had banned the export of fresh Kinnow before this month (December) to avoid the losses through export of poor quality fruits.
As a result of which, he claims, the better quality fruit with its utmost taste, flavour and colour have been liked and consumed by foreign markets throughout the season and 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.
In this season around 40 percent export of the fruit has been made to Russia while the rest of exports were made to the traditional buyers of Pakistani Kinnow including Gulf countries, Bangladesh, Eastern Europe, Bangladesh, 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 tones of Kinnow depriving the country of $40 million worth foreign exchange. Besides, the Indonesian market also remained untapped despite an already signed preferential trade agreement waiting for finalising formalities. Indonesia can potentially be a market of 2,000 tons but the current export level is nowhere near that in the absence of implementation of the trade agreement between the two countries.
According to Waheed, 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 dollars 10 million. The prolonged strike also caused reduction of around 22,400 tones of the citrus fruit besides rusting of the export consignments destined for different destinations.
Pakistan according to him had exported 225,000 tones of Kinnow in previous season. He claims that 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. However, trade with the neighbouring country India could not be sustainable since the trust deficit on both sides prevails.