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Pakistani fruits value up in international market

KARACHI (January 24 2008): Marking an upward trend in terms of value, the country`s fruit exports have increased to $56.481 million during July-December 2007 against $54.832 million during the corresponding period of last year.

Due to the newly promulgated rules on weight standards and time specification of mango exports to Europe, Pakistani fruits fetched more value during this fiscal year, Pakistan Horticulture Development and Exports Board Chief Operating Officer Mohammad Iqbal told Business Recorder on Wednesday. `It`s a good omen and meaning we are moving from quantitative to qualitative approach,` he added.

During the first half of 2007-08, Pakistan was able to fetch competitive prices for its fruits despite recording a decrease of 26,251 tons or 16.20 percent in the exported tonnage, provisional official statistics showed.

`European importers offered attractive prices for our mangoes and we have entertained a full-fledged mango and dates season this year,` Iqbal said. According to official figures during July-December 2007-08 Pakistan`s fruit exports stood at 0.135 million tons as compared to 0.162 million tons exported during the same period of FY07.

But in terms of value, fruit exports earned $56.481 million for Pakistan during the said period, showing an increase of $1.649 million or 3 percent. `This year the government had promulgated new laws on weight and time of mango exports which led to an ultimate value-addition of our fruit items in international market,` said the PHDEB COO.

He said exporters will feel more pressure and earn less money if they opt for a quantity-based export of fruits. `If we focus on qualitative exports, we will get more orders and fetch good prices for our fruits in the quality-conscious markets like Europe,` he added.

The PHDEB COO stressed the need for enforcing more and more quality standards for exports of the perishable items in the country. He urged the government to extend the implementation of laws on weight standardisation and time specification to countries other than Europe. `A level-playing field should be offered to all as, besides Europe, we have big fruit markets in other parts of the world,` Iqbal suggested.

The upward trend was also intact in the monthly export as Pakistan`s fruit exports in December 2007 hit $13.125 million against $8.295 million of November 2007 depicting an increase of 0.483 million or 58.22 percent, according to official figures. They said fruits weighing 28,679 tons were dispatched to the world in December 2007 as compared to 17,575 tons November, showing an increase of 11,104 tons or 63.18 percent.

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