KARACHI: Pakistan has achieved highest ever kinnow export volume of 460,000 metric tons during this season in the year 2020-21. The export target of kinnow for year 2020-21 was 350,000 tons, however due to the commendable efforts and extensive assistance by the federal government, the country attained higher export volume against the anticipated export target, exporters said.

During the global pandemic Covid-19, the demand of kinnow surged significantly as it played a vital role in strengthening the human immunity system safeguarding against the deadly disease. During the export season concluded in April 2021, Pakistan exported 460,000 metric tons kinnow to forty countries globally, which was 30 percent higher compared to the last year’s export volume of 353,000 metric tons. Pakistan earned valuable foreign exchange of $253 million through export of kinnow.

Waheed Ahmed, Patron-in-Chief, All Pakistan Exporters, Importers & Merchants Association (PFVA) informed that Ministry of Commerce (MoC) and in particular due to extensive assistance & timely decisions by the Adviser to the Premier Abdul Razzak Dawood, Pakistan witnessed a new record export of kinnow.

Despite record export of kinnow, exporters sustained huge financial losses since the export orders materialized at the exchange rate of one USD equivalent to Rs 168 while by the time payment was to be made to the exporters, the rupee attained stability against the USD and stood at exchange rate of USD was Rs 153.

Keeping this fact in view, the exporters had a clear option to contain the export volume of kinnow instead of sustaining huge financial losses, however due to deplorable state of country’s economy, the exporters kept supreme interest of the country above on their own interest with a view to fetch much needed foreign exchange for the country, he mentioned.

Pakistani kinnow could not get fair price due to lockdown in international markets while disproportionate increase in the cost of freight further multiplied the huge financial losses significantly, the highest loss was sustained in the Russian market, he added.

He further informed that the export consignments of kinnow could not reach to the international export markets due to lockdown and problems in transportation leading to quality issue of the consignments, thus even cost of the exports’ shipments could not be recovered and the exporters sustained huge losses, the Russian market being the worst in terms of enormous losses.

Waheed suggested that the kinnow exporters must be provided support by the federal government as despite paying fair price to the growers according to the quality of kinnow, exporters sustained huge losses.

He also acknowledged strenuous efforts made by the Ministry of National Food Security & Research (MNFSR) & the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) for ensuring timely issuance of the Phyto-certificates during lockdown and permitting smooth movement of exports’ consignment by reducing time of inspection. The DPP by enabling easy procurement of the Phyto-certificates facilitated the exporters and made it possible to go ‘beyond export target’ achievement – Waheed Ahmed praised.