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Pakistan - Sindh left with only 22000 tons wheat in its stocks
The Pakistan Newswire, March 15, 2004
Sindh province is faced with acute shortage of wheat as the provincial food department has only 22000 tons of wheat in its stocks. The department however expects arrival of 38000 tons of wheat from three sources during 15 days of March- 10,000 tons from PASCCO, 20,000 tons from Punjab and 8000 tons from World Food Program. " Only two weeks of current month are feared to be difficult with regard to wheat position as the situation would improve by April with the arrival of new wheat crop in the market," Arif Mustafa Jatoi, provincial food minister said while addressing a press conference on Monday at his office. Giving break-up of the stocks, the minister said there were 6000 tons of wheat at Karachi warehouses, 11000 tons at Sukkur, 4000 tons at Larkana and 1200 tons at Mirpur Khas while Hyderabad region has gone out of wheat stocks as only12 tons were left at Hyderabad warehouses. The situation worsened owing to cancellation of tenders for import of wheat by the federal government and arrival of infected wheat from Australia, Mr. Jatoi told. " Sindh government had intimated the federal government in July last about the expected wheat shortage and it was in this background that federal cabinet decided to import 500,000 tons of wheat of which 300,000 tons were meant for Sindh. Later the federal government cancelled two tenders and only 1,50,000 tons wheat was imported from Australia of which 90,000 tons were to be released to Sindh, but unfortunately the imported wheat was found infected," the minister said. As regards low releases of wheat to the flour mills in Sukkur region, the minister said it was due to sale of wheat and flour from Punjab. " No matter if any mills is closed in Sukkur due to low releases as the main concern for the government is to ensure proper supply of flour in the market," he added. When pointed out skyrocketing price of wheat flour in the market, Mr. Jatoi contended that it were the local governments to control the prices as such powers had been devolved to them and provincial government is helpless since then. To a query, he told currently 8 flour mills in Karachi are closed, 62 were functioning of which 9 were under observation.
MGR Archive 17.3.2004
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Russia Rapan $ 700
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EU Prices Baldo €660
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