October 31, 2014


Pakistan slaps 20% duty on foreign wheat to stem cheap imports



Pakistan has imposed a 20% duty on imported wheat to stem the tide of cheap imports, the government said.


The decision was made by the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet in a meeting chaired by the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday, Oct. 30.


In a short statement, the committee said it had noted a sharp increase in wheat imports despite a good crop at home.


Industry sources said imports had been rising because of a big gap in the prices between local and imported wheat.


Good harvests in the US and other major wheat countries have created huge inventories that have dragged prices to record lows.


Locally, prices remained high because of higher support price from the government, leaving end-users like feed and flour millers to go for imported supply.


The support price has increased from PKR425 (US$4.13) per 40kg in 2008 to PKR1,200 (US$11.67) per 40kg this year, an increase of about 180% in five years.