ISLAMABAD – The fruit exporters have stressed the need for exploring new markets for kinnow export, as was done in case of mango last year, to boost the exports of this mandrain fruit.  “Currently Pakistani Kinnows (Mandarin) are mainly exported to UAE, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran on commission basis and we cannot afford to export kinnow every year to these main four markets only,” CEO Harvest Tradings, Ahmad Jawad said.

 He said that Japan may be good market for Pakistan kinnow in the coming years with the expected volume of 50,000 to 60,000 ton, provided PHDEC makes serious efforts to explore this market as was done in case of mango last year.  He said that due to decline in local production, Japanese mandarin imports doubled in 2010-11, according to a new report from the US Department of Agriculture, with big growth in the market presence of the US and Australia in particular.

 Matching with Japan’s new role as Australia’s largest citrus export market, Australian mandarin imports jumped 136 per cent to 2,276 tonnes.  New Zealand, Chilean and Taiwanese imports also grew over the period according to the report, Ahmad Jawad added.

 It is predicted the high quality of US and Australian citrus would remain a key part of the Japanese citrus market this year, he said and stressed the need that Pakistan also needs to target that market as it the 13th largest kinnow producer in world.

 “We should learn from Chile, Holland and Thailand, which multiplied their horticulture exports within a few years, taking them to billions of dollars,” he said.  He was of the view that Pakistan’s kinnow export target for kinnow set at 300,000 tons this year is becoming harder to meet due to several reasons adding that it is time to explore new markets on immediate basis for survival of this industry.

 He said that the prices of kinnow this season are low in Saudi Arabia and UAE due to arrival of bulk containers owing to stoppage of kinnow exports to Iran and Russia.  Exporters also suffered a loss of $10 million on export of kinnow, as shipments were delayed because of complete checking of consignments.

 Jawad welcomed the statement of Ambassador of Indonesia, Ishak Latuconsina to bring duty to zero tariff of Pakistani orange (Kinnow) which will be good push for this industry in the coming years.

 The CEO Harvest Tradings further emphasized that starting with Pakistan’s image building the Trade or Counselors should work as Marketing Managers for the country.

 He said that they must be fully knowing about the market demand there and about the quality of products and selling tactics by Pakistan’s competitors.