Content ID

334965

UPDATE 1-Pakistan's PM says no to private imports of wheat to save forex reserves

(Adds details, background)

Oct 20 (Reuters) - Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Thursday the country has sufficient stocks of wheat and he will not allow its private import to save "precious foreign exchange", according to a statement from his office.

The country is reeling from the impact of severe floods last month which killed 1,700 and submerged huge swathes of the country, damaging farmlands, infrastructure and inflicting over $30 billion in damage to the economy.

Sharif's statement came a day after European traders said a government agency in Pakistan had issued a new international tender to purchase and import 500,000 tonnes of wheat.

"Federal government will import wheat at cheap prices and will ensure its provision to the provinces," the PM's office said. Sharif was speaking in Islamabad at a meeting of the National Flood Response Coordination Centre.

Economists say Pakistan will have to explore all options to raise and save on its foreign exchange reserves, which have fallen to around one month of imports that consist largely of oil and gas purchases.

The floods, caused by abnormal monsoon rains and glacial melt, have further weakened Pakistan's economy, already in turmoil with a rising current account deficit, inflation above 20% and a sharp depreciation of the rupee currency.

Pakistan's new finance minister, Ishaq Dar, told Reuters last week that he will seek rescheduling of some $27 billion worth of non-Paris Club debt largely owed to China, and also ruled out the possibility of a default on the country's debt. (Reporting by Shivam Patel in New Delhi; Editing by Jan Harvey and Susan Fenton)

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022. Click For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp

Read more about
Loading...

Tip of the Day

Driver for electric fence posts is helpful

Fence post driver from Mar '20 AATF I welded a steel cap and handle onto one end of a section of light-duty 1¼-inch angle iron and a footstep onto the other end. This lets me... read more

Talk in Marketing

Most Recent Poll

Will you have enough on-farm storage for harvest?

I just want to see the responses
46% (24 votes)
Yes
37% (19 votes)
No, it’s going to be a bin-buster
8% (4 votes)
Maybe, depending on yields
6% (3 votes)
No, I am looking at new bins or temporary storage
4% (2 votes)
Total votes: 52
Thank you for voting.