In spite of receiving two vessels of over 125,000 tonnes of imported wheat during last 12 days, the country is still facing the problem of price surge (Rs2 per kg) of the commodity. The third vessel with 69,000 tonnes is also expected to reach the Karachi Port on Tuesday.
The price of imported wheat is now fixed at Rs47.50 per kg compared to Rs45-46 per kg while the price of locally-produced wheat has increased from Rs48 per kg to Rs51 per kg that had fallen to Rs48 from Rs52 in the last week of August when the first Ukrainian wheat consignment had reached Pakistan.
The Chairman of ‘Cereal Association of Pakistan’ Muzammil Chappal told that the traders had ordered 600,000 tonnes of wheat at a price of $235 per tonne however the price of Ukrainian wheat rose to $250 per tonne due to increased buying from Indonesia and Egypt. He further added that half of the imported wheat was being used in Karachi whereas the rest was being shared by KP and Punjab where it was being sold at Rs53-56 per kg due to higher transportation cost.
Soon after the Sindh government start releasing wheat to millers, the price would get stable, Chairman Cereal Association stated
Muzammil told that it was mandatory to import the commodity otherwise the price of locally-produced wheat could increase up to Rs70 per kg while the flour price could touch Rs100 per kg.
Replying to the question of price steadiness, he said that it was dependent upon the Sindh government; as soon as it started releasing wheat to millers after the arrival of over 300,000 tonnes of the imported commodity next month, the price would get stable.
Chairman of Pakistan Flour Mills Association (Sindh Zone) Khalid Masood said he had discussed the matter with Sindh Food Secretary Laeeq Ahmed and asked him for immediate release of wheat so that the rising prices of flour in the open market could be controlled. “Secretary Laeeq Ahmed intimated that the government will start issuing wheat to the millers by mid-September after finalizing the price by the provincial cabinet”, Masood told.
A ship with 65,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat would reach Pakistan in the last week of October, Masood told
Millers had decreased flour prices by Rs2 per kg before the arrival of the first consignment of 60,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat. The retailers however told that the price could again rise due to increasing prices in the open market.
Moreover, a ship with 65,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat would reach Pakistan in the last week of October that was booked by four to five millers at the rate of $227 per tonne whose landed cost would be Rs43-44 per kg.
Food Minister of Sindh Hari Ram Kishori Lal on August 31 told that the Sindh Food Department had sufficient stocks of wheat that could meet province’s demand and soon it would be supplied on discounted rates to flour mills and atta chakies so that the consumers (domestic and commercial) could easily get the flour. However he clarified that only those flour mills and atta chakies would be provided with the wheat which were included in the list of food department. Hari Ram disclosed that the official price of wheat for flour mills would be announced soon by the Sindh cabinet.