September 24, 2008


Pakistan to import 800,000 tonnes of wheat in the next six months


Pakistan will import 800,000 tonnes of wheat before February 2009, when the new crop will be available in the local market, a government statement said Wednesday ( September 24, 2008). 


"...2.5 million tonnes of wheat was to be imported, of which 1.7 million tonnes had already been purchased and will be shipped during the current month," said the statement.


The government also postponed the fixing of a new crop procurement price since the finance minister is in New York with President Asif Zardari to attend the U.N. General Assembly meeting.


The government is expecting to offer a better price before sowing starts in October so that more local farmers opt to plant wheat, the statement said.


As of Sept. 16, almost 3.3 million tonnes of wheat were available in the country.


The government said there would be sufficient wheat until the end of this year.


Pakistan harvested nearly 21 million tonnes of wheat in February of this year and suffered a huge nationwide shortage due to demand approaching 24 millionne to 25 million tonnes.


A recently released USDA report said countries in and around the Middle East is likely to face wheat shortage next year due to drought slashing output.

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