Pakistan missed the export target of two million tonnes for wheat and wheat products despite achieving record exports in the country’s history in FY18.
Around 21 percent rupee devaluation against the dollar since December 2017 to date, coupled with world’s prices and attractive subsidy, boosted wheat exports to a new peak of 1.189m tonnes fetching $236m in FY18, versus 3,937 tonnes earning just $1m in FY17.
The average per tonne price stood at $198 in 2017-18 against $263 per tonne earned in the same period of FY17, stated figures released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
The government in December 2017 had allowed exports of 2m tonnes of wheat and wheat products before June 30 to clear carry-over stocks as new crop finds the way into the market. It has also been providing an export subsidy of $120 per tonne by land and $169 per tonne for sea routes. Out of the 2m tonnes, exports from Punjab were planned at 1.5m tonnes with the remaining 500,000 tonnes from Sindh.
Market players were quite optimistic about achieving the wheat target of 1.4 million tonnes by sea route but exports in June fell to 69,299 tonnes from 326,133 tonnes in May.
All Pakistan Flour Mills Association Central Chairman Chaudhry Ansar Jawed said export of wheat products remained disappointing despite the subsidy and rupee devaluation as Afghanistan’s market was captured by cheap wheat products from the Central Asian States.
He said the government should consider suspending further exports from surplus stocks of last year in view of the water shortage which may hamper wheat production.