The slowdown and decreasing trend in the country’s foreign trade continue as Pakistani export of mango has been declined by 35,000 tons this year against the target. As the mango season has been concluded, the country has exported at least 0.115 million tons of mango this year as compared to the target of 0.15 million tons.
In terms of value the country has fetched only 39 million dollars revenue from this sector while facing the loss of at least 11 million dollars this year. Exporters of mango, who faced multiple issues, hampering the already limited exports, cited the lack of air connections, issues in ANF, Custom and shipping lines and others, were mainly behind the reduction in export of mango this year.
According to Waheed Ahmed, newly elected Chairman Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA), only 35,000 tons of exports were made during this season ended by September 2012, recording a drastic decline in export the fruit.
Citing reasons of the decline in mango exports, he said logistic issues at shipping companies and Pakistan International Airlines were the major hindrances the exporters faced the most this year which remained unresolved despite repeated and timely complains.
Non-availability of pallets and containers (AEK) and Off-loadings at PIA have also caused reduction in exports by 30 percent. PIA flights offload consignments at various airports without any justification which also results in cancellation of import orders.
According to him, PIA being the only national carrier was expected to be well-equipped to facilitate the exporters of fresh agro produce but it was quite disappointing to share that the Airline does not have enough pallets and aircraft containers to handle the cargo leading to in-ordinate delays in promptly getting the cargo on board.
Besides, 100 percent examination of consignments at ports by ANF not only caused delay in shipment but also affected the quality of exportable fruits badly resulting cancellation of import orders. Shipping companies left already booked consignments at ports for several times while a shipping firm even left for Masqat carrying huge quantity of fruits booked for Dubai port.
Beside the logistic issues, Pakistani exports of fruit have also lost a lucrative market of neighbouring country Iran, where at least 30,000 tones of mango were being exported previously, as a result of trade embargo imposed by United Nations on Tehran. With the loss of this market, exporters have faced almost 10 million dollars worth exports of mango during the ongoing season.
Besides, no export of mango to other potential markets of Japan and United States has been recorded this year in absence of VHT plant and radiation facilities. The country could not start commercial trade despite the already obtained market access of US, Japan, Jordan, Mauritius and South Korea.
He further said that at least 30 percent reduction in production of mango this year had also affected the trade of the fruit abroad. The reduction in production, he said, was mainly because of the climatic change which hit the mango trees in many parts of the country including, Hyderabad, Tando Allahyar, Mirpurkhas and Mityari of Sindh and Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, Shuja Abad, Muzaffar Garh and Khane-e-wal of Punjab province. Waheed also demanded to accelerate the process of issuing SOP to Australian government for the export of mango from Pakistan to start the trade at least by next season.