KARACHI: Wheat has become costlier by Rs100 to Rs3,150 per 100kg bag in the open market following reports of crop damage in Punjab due to recent rains coupled with brisk exports of the commodity. As a result, millers have raised wheat flour prices ahead of Ramazan.
The price of flour no.2.5 was raised to Rs1,700 per 50kg bag from Rs1,675 followed by jump in fine and super fine flour rates to Rs1,875 from Rs1,825.
Chairman All Pakistan Flour Mills Association (Sindh Chapter) Mohammad Jawed Yousuf told Dawn on Thursday that everything was going smooth until reports of crop damage broke after heavy rains and storms. He said harvesting was due to start when rains hit the wheat-producing belt in southern Punjab.
As a result Sindh wheat, which started arriving from March, is now finding its way into Punjab. Besides, substantial increase in wheat exports had also put Sindh wheat crop under pressure. Besides, wheat exporters are also piling up stocks owing to better future export prospects.
Jawed said the Sindh government has so far not started wheat procurement from the growers for the current crop. The support price of wheat is Rs1,300 per 40 kg. When asked how much Sindh now holds last year’s wheat stocks, he said on government papers, the stocks are estimated at 820,000 tonnes of last year’s crop.
Pakistan’s wheat exports rose to 557,587 tonnes ($122m) during the first nine moths (July-March) period of this fiscal year from 307,344 tonnes ($59.7m) in same period last year. The average unit price of wheat came to $218 per tonne as against $194 per tonne in same period last year.
According to figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the country earned $236m by exporting 1.189m tonnes in FY18 versus 3,937 tonnes valuing only $1m in FY17.
In the last week of March, flour millers had slashed flour No.2.5 price to Rs1,675 from Rs1,900 per 50kg bag while the rate of fine and super fine flour was reduced to Rs1,825 from Rs2,025. As a result, the price of 5kg bag of good quality flour (Bake Parlour and Ashrafi) had eased to Rs220 from Rs230 while 10kg bag was costing Rs420 as against Rs440.
Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2019