KARACHI: The country exported 370,000 tonnes of kinno in this season fetching $222 million — the highest ever volume during any season.
Kinno exports began from December 2017 and continued till the beginning of May 2018. Last year exports stood at 325,000 tonnes.
Waheed Ahmed, Patron-in-Chief of Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) said kinno continued to face issues of high valuation from the Russian customs authorities leading to higher cost of the fruit in this important international market.
The actual value of Pakistani kinno is around $6-7 per 10 kg whereas the Russian authorities assess it at $9.5 per 10 kg which after February was revised upward to$10.5 per 10 kg, thus making it even more difficult for local exporters to compete. PFVA has raised the issue before Pakistani and Russian authorities while Pakistani diplomats posted in Russia as well as Ministry of Commerce also rendered assistance. As a result, the Russian authorities have shown willingness to reduce the rate. Due to non-affirmation of valuation by the Federal Board of Revenue, the issue still remains unresolved, he said.
Earlier, efforts from PFVA against quota system by the Indonesian government on import of Pakistani kinno 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 kinno to Russia enabled local exporters to compete in this international market, leading to enhanced exports, he said.
Excellent local crop this year coupled with low production of the fruit by Morocco – a major producer — provided yet another opportunity to increase exports to the Russian market, Waheed said.
For the last seven consecutive years, the export of kinno to the Iranian market — with volume potential of 60,000-80,000 tonnes — remains suspended.
However, import permits were issued by Iran on the eve of “Nauroz” festival, but due to a limited time period, logistical issues as well as difficulties in financial transactions, the temporary opportunity could not be availed by the local exporters, he said.
Pakistan can potentially tap into the vast Chinese market with CPEC providing an easy and accessible road route to the neighbouring country.