Edible oil import bill reaches

$ 1.377b in nine months

ISLAMABAD (APP): The edible oil import bill during first three quarters of last fiscal year has reached US $ 1.377 billion with 1.789 million tonnes quantity, registering 4.07 percent increase. Local production of edible oil during 2014-15 (July-March) was estimated at 0.546 million tonnes. Official figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on Monday revealed that total availability of edible oil from all sources is provisionally estimated at 2.335 million tonnes during 2014-15 (July-March). The edible oil import bill during 2013-14 was Rs. 246.895 billion (US$ 2.50 billion). The local production of edible oil contributed 0.573 million tonnes while import of edible oil/oilseeds was 2.627 million tonnes.

The major oilseed crops grown in the country include Sunflower, Canola, Mustard and Cotton and during 2013-14 total availability of edible oil was 3.2 million tonnes. The Bureau further revealed that due to slump in international market of edible oil and oilseeds, the local traders were offering Rs.2,050 to Rs.2,100 per 40 kg for canola crop produce in 2014-15.

Low prices in local market discouraged the oilseeds growers resulting decline in edible oil production. Last year average price of oilseeds (canola/sunflower) prevailed around Rs. 2,500 to Rs.2,800 per 40 kg.

Foodgrain prices to see steady fall

ISLAMABAD (APP): A UN report has projected steady decline in prices of foodgrains over the next decade, attributing gradual price fall to increase in agricultural production and diversification of dietary choices towards meat and dairy products. The report, emphasized that prices of foodgrains would not fall below early 2000-levels “despite the advantageous scenario regarding global food pricing,” Times of India reported on Monday. It noted that additional agricultural production would be driven by use of innovative methods to improve yields in Asia, Europe and North America and by expansion of agricultural area in South America. It also said the low cost of energy during the period will bring down the input (energy and fertilizer) cost of farm production, leading to decline in prices of foodgrains.

Cotton cropped area shows 5.5apc growth last year

ISLAMABAD (APP): The cropped area of cotton in the country has shown 5.5 per cent growth during just ended fiscal year and stood at 2.961 million hectares as compared 2.8 million hectares last year. The cotton production for year 2014-15 stood at 13.983 million bales against 12.769 million bales last year, also showing an increase of 9.5 percent. According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics here on Monday, the cotton production remained higher since 2004-05 on account of government’s provision of aggressive farmer training for small farmers and extension services and it allowed Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to procure one million bales of cotton at the support price of Rs. 3000 per 40 kg to benefit cotton growers.

The better economic returns received by growers from the last year produce, this encouraged the grower to bring more area under cotton crop.

The cotton plays a major role in earning foreign exchange. The cotton crop production accounts for 1.5 percent in GDP and 7.1 percent in agriculture value addition.

The Bureau further revealed that during first nine months of 2014-15, textile industry fetched foreign exchange of US$ 10.22 billion.

‘LPG producers keep prices


LAHORE (APP): Despite a crash in prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) at global level, local LPG producers have kept their prices unchanged from the last month. The LPG Association of Pakistan (LPGAP) Chairman Farooq Iftikhar stated here Monday that Oil & Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), Pak Arab Refinery Company, Pakistan Petroleum Limited and Sui Southern Gas Company which account for more than 75 percent of the country’s LPG Production have refused to lower their prices in line with the fall in Saudi Aramco Contract Price- a leading international benchmark for LPG prices. He said, the Saudi Aramco CP for July has fallen to a record low of USD 413 per MT or Rs. 41,300 per MT (exclusive of taxes).

However OGDCL, PARCO and PPL have maintained their prices at Rs. 52,000 per MT, whereas SSGC has maintained it at Rs. 50,000 per MT.

Farooq Iftikhar said, the Ministry of Petroleum had earlier initiated a policy of regulating the LPG sector and bringing the LPG prices below the international level in order to provide relief to the consumers. That policy has been side tracked as LPG producers continue to charge prices well in excess of international prices, he maintained.

LPG Consumers, he added, are paying at least Rs. 150 more for each cylinder, because of the prices being charged by LPG Producers.

Balochistan to have 100 water dams: Zehri

QUETTA (APP): Senior Provincial Minister, Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri has said the government was going to launch construction of 100 dams in Balochistan to cater the need of water. In a statement issued, here on Monday, he said “Balochistan has been facing acute shortage of water for last several years as the province received lesser monsoon rains’. He said that the keeping in view the difficulties and problems of people in this regard, the government has resolved to construct 100 dams to cater the need of water. He said that he was in touch with Khan of Kalat.”I will travel to London to meet Khan of Kalat,” he said. He said that policies were being evolved to bring progress and prosperity in Balochistan.