KARACHI: Unnecessary casualties and cement exports from Pakistan’s food import measures to curb Asia’s fastest-growing inflation were reported on Wednesday.
Ships carrying dry grain and sugar are collecting dry bulk carriers to export cement from the country’s two major ports in the southern city of Karachi. Outcome: Pakistan’s cement exports fell 18 percent to 633,431 tonnes last month, much faster than the 5 percent drop seen in November amid unavailability of containers for loading. Prime Minister Imran Khan is under immense political pressure to cover up inflation, which was 8% in Asian economies in December, according to Bloomberg. His government is now aggressively importing essential commodities such as wheat, sugar and canola to keep prices down, with the International Monetary Fund rising another 8.8 percent in the year ending June.
In the four months to December 27, a record 30 pots of wheat were handled at the port of Karachi, Pakistan’s Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Haider Zaidi said in a Twitter post on December 27. The equivalent ship carrying more wheat is about to arrive on the country’s largest ship. The planned import of 3.6 million tonnes will be completed in the port by March.
Power Cement Limited, a top exporter and the second largest producer in southern Pakistan, has stopped booking ships to deliver clinker to its international customers. Another exporter, Attock Cement Pakistan Limited, obtained an order from the court to ensure that Karachi Port operators handle ships on a first-come, first-served basis.
Mohammad Kashif A. Habib, chief executive officer of Power Cement, said in an interview that cement ships face a waiting time of eight to nine days.
Habib said the industry has lost Rs. 2 billion (12 12.5 million) a month as a result of increased handling of imported grain and consequent overcrowding on deep draft vessels – which are essential for cement vessels. ۔
In addition to importing 300,000 tonnes of sugar in March, Pakistan plans to import wheat in more than 60 ships sold by public and private importers by March, according to official figures.
Karachi port spokesman Sharq Amin Farooqi denied that the port was overcrowded due to wheat and sugar ships.
“Our ship’s handling rules are not based on commodities, they are based on first-come, first-served,” he said.
The South Asian country exports most of its cement and stains to Yemen, China, Bangladesh and East African countries, with exports at 26 260 million last year, or 1.2 percent overall.