Food exports rise 18pc in July-Sept

Published October 20, 2023
Basmati rice exports grew 20.5pc to $406.4 million in the first quarter of this fiscal year. — Reuters/file
Basmati rice exports grew 20.5pc to $406.4 million in the first quarter of this fiscal year. — Reuters/file

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s food exports grew more than 18 per cent in the first quarter of fical year 2023-24 to $1.28 billion, according to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The surge in food products exports can be attributed to the unprecedented rupee depreciation. In addition, persistent disruptions in the supply chain and higher prices in the international market have led to a soaring demand for food products.

In September, Pakistan’s annual food inflation was over 34pc. PBS data showed the country’s rice exports rose 0.98pc in the first three months of FY24 owing to higher exports of basmati rice. Rice exports had been falling for the past year.

Basmati rice exports witnessed a growth of 20.48pc to $406.38 million in July-September. The reason for the increase in basmati rice exports is India’s rice export prohibition and an increased rice output in Pakistan.

Weak rupee during the quarter helped Pakistan fetch higher proceeds from global market

As a result, the average basmati rice price increased dramatically in the domestic market. In quantity, basmati rice exports saw an increase of 3.68pc during the months under review.

Pakistan exported fish and fish products worth $83.06m in the first quarter of FY24, showing a growth of 3.75pc from a year ago. The expansion in fishery kinds, such as cuttlefish, is driving the increase in seafood exports. Furthermore, Qatar has eased its prohibition on Pakistani seafood imports.

Pakistan exported $112.98m worth of meat in the first quarter, showing a growth of 20.05pc. The reason for the increase in meat exports is the introduction of new markets like Jordan, Egypt, and Uzbekistan. At the same time, several new enterprises are registering to export meat to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations.

Malaysia also cleared another three slaughterhouses for export/processing. Furthermore, one meat exporting company was granted market access for heat-treated meat shipments to China.

In contrast, meat prices in the domestic market have risen at an unprecedented rate in recent years.

Export of fruits saw an increase of 12.43pc in the first three months to $88.66m. However, vegetable exports dipped 30.35pc to $51.41m this year.

Pakistan’s spices exports increased 23.51pc to $23.75m in the first quarter. The export of oil seeds, nuts and kernels increased 405.85pc to $185.99m in the three months under review.

Sugar exports stood at 33,102 metric tonnes in the first quarter of the current fiscal year against no exports during the same period last year.

Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2023

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