Govt urged to support dairy sector

ISLAMABAD (INP): The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said the dairy sector has great potential which can be exploited with the support of the government. With milk production of 56 crore tons, Pakistan is the fifth largest producer of milk in the world while it is among top three producers in the Asia-Pacific region, it said. Milk production can be increased from seven to eight times with little efforts which will boost exports and reduce its price providing relief to masses, said PEW President Dr Murtaza Mughal. Production of milk per animal is seven to eight times lower than the developed nation which can be improved by using modern methods, he added. He said that latest techniques and can boost milk production making Pakistan a leading producer and exporter of milk which will not only reduce the price of milk and beef substantially but also help the country to earn foreign exchange. It will also have a positive impact on export of beef and mutton, boost leather industry and provide help to the infant halal industry, he added.

 Dr Murtaza said that dairy and livestock is an important subsector of agriculture which continues to register growth of 3 to 4 percent per annum despite lack of support.

This sector has 63 million animals, it covers 12 percent of the GDP while 35 million people make their living through it by producing 50 billion litres of milk costing Rs180 billion. The country is exporting live animals to many countries while beef and mutton are being exported to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Afghanistan, Vietnam and other countries while the gap between demand and supply is increasing which is contributing to price hike. Supporting dairy sector will help tens of millions of people.

Iran has exported 4.26m barrels oil from South Pars since March

BEIRUT (Reuters): Iran has exported about 4.26m barrels of oil from South Pars to international destinations since the beginning of the Iranian calendar year, which began in late March, Fardin Asadi, the manager for development of oil layers at South Pars, said on Sunday, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA). South Pars is the world’s largest gas field which also has significant oil reserves. Approximately 25,000 barrels of oil are extracted from South Pars daily, Asadi told ISNA. France’s Total signed a deal with Tehran in July to develop phase 11 of South Pars, marking the first major Western energy investment in Iran since the lifting of sanctions against the country last year. Total will be the operator with a 50.1pc stake, alongside Chinese state-owned oil and gas company CNPC with 30pc, and National Iranian Oil Co subsidiary Petropars with 19.9pc. The field exported about $6.9b worth of gas condensate, a 28pc increase in the value of exports of that product over the same period last year. Embattled Toshiba to boost capital by $5.3b share issuance

TOKYO (AFP): Embattled Japanese conglomerate Toshiba said Sunday it plans to raise $5.3 billion by issuing new shares -- a move aimed at avoiding a humiliating delisting from the Tokyo bouse. A board meeting on Sunday decided on the move, it said. Toshiba will issue 2.28 billion new shares to raise a total of 600 billion yen ($5.3 billion), with financing expected to close on December 5. Each share will be priced at 262.8 yen, a 10 percent discount from Friday's closing price. The number of new shares is roughly half the number of currently listed shares. "This of course poses a concern of dilution of the value of shares but we believe this measure will enable us to clear obligations and focus on core business, which will ultimately contribute to the value of shares," a Toshiba spokeswoman said. Toshiba is on the ropes after the disastrous acquisition of US nuclear energy firm Westinghouse, which racked up billions of dollars in losses before being placed in bankruptcy protection.

For its survival, the cash-strapped group has decided on the multibillion-dollar sale of its prized chip business. But the procedure has been delayed due to legal disputes with a US production partner, Western Digital.

EU car sales rev up despite Brexit and 'dieselgate'

PARIS (AFP): Car sales returned to growth in Europe last month, the latest industry data showed on Thursday, but that Brexit and the so-called dieselgate scandal are are making their impacts felt. Sales of new vehicles climbed 5.9 percent in October compared to the same month last year, according data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, recovering from a 2.0pc dip in Sept. Over the first ten months of the year, sales of passenger vehicles have risen by 3.9 percent. Car sales were up nearly everywhere on the continent, but not in Britain where consumer confidence has been undermined by uncertainty over the terms of the country's impending exit from the EU. They tumbled by over 12pc last month, and are down 4.6pc in January through October. Car sales are down even more sharply in Ireland, which is probably the EU nation most directly vulnerable to Brexit as Irish exports make up 11 of the top 15 European Union goods most exposed to the British economy, according to the Irish finance ministry.

 They fell by nearly 14 percent in October and are down 10.3 percent in the first ten months of the year.

"Brexit related uncertainty and the weakness of sterling are impacting negatively on the industry," the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) said earlier this month. The lower value of the pound has caused a surge of attractively priced used cars from Britain going on sale in Ireland, which is also a left-side drive country. SIMI said that "with an increase in used imports of less than 3 years old, it is likely that some of these are displacing new car sales."

The dieselgate scandal, sparked by Volkswagen's 2015 admission that it fitted out millions of cars with software that enabled them to cheat pollution tests, appears to be having an impact on sales as consumers are shifting to petrol engines over environmental concerns or to stay clear of taxes and regulations being considered or imposed by EU countries. In Germany last month, according to the nation's vehicle licencing authority KBA, diesels accounted for 34.9 percent of the 272,855 cars registered. A year ago diesels accounted for 44.2 percent.

In France, sales of diesels are down by 4.7 percent over the first 10 months of the year, accounting for 47.6 percent of the total, according to the French carmakers trade association CCFA. Diesels still accounted for a majority of cars sold last year at 52.1 percent. In Britain, uncertainly about taxation of diesels appears to be hitting overall sales.

"Declining business and consumer confidence is undoubtedly affecting demand in the new car market but this is being compounded by confusion over government policy on diesel," Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said in a statement earlier this month. "Consumers need urgent reassurance that the latest, low emission diesel cars on sale will not face any bans, charges or other restrictions, anywhere in the UK," he added.

By carmakers, sales by European leader Volkswagen lagged in both October and the first ten months of the year, growing by less than the overall market. Its market share dipped to 23.6 percent for January to October. The sales of PSA Group, which makes Peugeot and Citroen, were doped from the inclusion of Opel/Vauxhall into its accounts, but otherwise the carmaker was showing only modest increases above the overall gain in the market. Of the major carmakers, Toyota was showing the biggest percentage gain in European sales with a 14.4 percent increase in the first ten months of the year, expanding its market share to 4.7 percent.