KARACHI: Pakistan this year has exported record 370,000 tonnes of oranges earning a revenue of around $22 million marking this as the highest ever volume during any season.
From December 2017 to May 2018 oranges have been exported from the country to worldwide. Last year the orange exports stood at 325,000 tonnes.
Patron-in-Chief of Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) Waheed Ahmed in a statement said that the citrus fruit continue to go through a high inspection from the Russian customs authorities, which results in the cost of the fruit rising exponentially in the international market.
While the actual value of a type A Pakistani orange stands around $6-7 per 10 Kg Russian export inspection division assess it at $9.5 per kg. Recently in February, this price was revised to $10.5 per 10 kg making it problematic for local exporters to compete.
PFVA had previously raised the issue, which was taken into account by both the Pakistani and Russian authorities that made the Russians to reconsider their stance over the cost issue. Pakistani diplomats posted in Russia as well as Ministry of Commerce also provided assistance to reduce the rate.
Ahmed also said that due to non-affirmation of value by the Federal Board of Revenue the pricing issue could not be resolved yet.
Earlier, efforts from PFVA against quota system by the Indonesian government on import of Pakistani oranges have resulted in its withdrawal.
The association’s demand from government for the drawback of local taxes and levies (DLTL) of $250 per export container of oranges to Russia enabled local exporters to compete in this international market, leading to enhanced exports, he said.
Morocco a major fruit producer this year faced low production which coupled with excellent crop production in Pakistan provided a good platform to increase exports to the Russian market, said Ahmed.
For the last seven consecutive years, the export of oranges to the Iranian market with a potential volume of 60,000 to 80,000 tonnes remains suspended.
However, on the eve of “Nauroz” festival import permits were issued by Iran for a limited period of time which also suffered due to logistical and financial transaction issues and local exporters were unable meet terms to avail this temporary opportunity, he said.
Now with CPEC providing an easy and accessible road route to the neighboring country, Pakistani exporters may avail good opportunities to tap into the vast Chinese market.