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TCP gets $436 bid for wheat import
ISLAMABAD: The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has received a bid offering a price of $436 per tonne for importing 50,000 tonnes of wheat.

This price is $19 per tonne less than the last tender for the import of same quantity.

The TCP opened the second tender, floated last month, for 100,000 tonnes of wheat and received an offer for importing 50,000 tonnes of Argentinean origin brown wheat at $436 per tonne, The News learnt on Saturday.

“The interested Argentinean firm will be requested to supply more wheat at the quoted price of $436. They (Argentineans) will be asked to supply an additional 100,000 tonnes,” a government official familiar with the development told this correspondent.

“If the Argentinean company fulfills the requirements of this tender and also assures the TCP of providing another 100,000 tonnes or more, then the government will not buy more brown wheat from sources like Russia and Argentina and explore sources of white wheat,” the official added.

After the prime minister’s announcement of importing one million tonnes of wheat, the government decided to import 0.5 million tonnes in the first phase to meet the shortfall in domestic consumption while the remaining 0.5 million tonnes would be stocked as strategic reserves.

The TCP then invited a tender for 100,000 tonnes on September 24, but only two parties submitted bids for the import of 90,000 tonnes of wheat.

North Star, a local agent of Broda, a Russian firm, offered a price of $455 per tonne for the import of 50,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Ukraine. Accepting that offer, the TCP asked it to arrange shipment as early as possible.

As international prices of wheat are falling, the government official hoped the rates would hover around $400.

The TCP would float another tender for the import of 100,000 tonnes in the coming week not only to build up stocks to a comfortable level, but also to bridge the supply-demand gap in the local market, particularly in Karachi, the official said.

Russian shipment from the first tender would arrive at Karachi in the third week of November while Argentinean wheat would reach at the end of the month.

Wheat from upcoming tenders would reach in December and the whole process of importing one million tonnes from multiple sources should be completed by mid-February next year, the official said.

Giving details of distribution of 0.5 million tonnes of imported wheat, the official said half of that would be allocated to Punjab, 100,000 tonnes each to Sindh and NWFP and 50,000 tonnes to Balochistan.

About the specifications for imported commodity, the official said the TCP chairman in collaboration with technical staff had reviewed the specifications, which would be announced next week.
MGR Archive 4.11.2007
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