Punjab Food Department (PFD) has decided not to export wheat till compilation the definite estimates of next wheat crop. Sources in the provincial food department said that the department has at present around 4.3 million tons of stocks it would review the next wheat crop situation in December or January and might take final decision of exporting wheat or not.
Sources said although the department has ample stocks of wheat and opportunities of exporting wheat also exist coupled with higher wheat prices in the international markets, the departmental high-ups is also reviewing the situation of drought in various different countries including US and Russia and its impact in shape of shortage of this commodity.
‘Food security of our own people is dearer to us than minting money to export wheat of higher prices in the international market,’ highly placed sources told Business Recorder on Friday. They said that the department at present was in a very comfortable situation as far as wheat stocks are concerned. Though we purchased less wheat during current season of procurement as compared to previous when the stocks with the department were 5.2 million tons. Now we have 4.3 million tons of stocks which are more than the domestic (provincial) requirement but still we are delaying the decision of exporting wheat to have some definite assessment of next wheat crop to avoid any shortage like situation during next year, the sources added.
Sources said that private sector has permission to allow the exports but in public sector a committee has been constituted on the proposal of Punjab, having representative from the Federal Food Security Ministry, all the four provincial food ministries, FBR and Federal Ministry of Trade to review the stock situation of wheat in the country. This committee will meet after every 15 days to review the stocks and possibilities of exporting wheat, the sources concluded.