PAR News - Tues, 09 Apr 2024

PAR News Bulletin - Tues, 09 Apr 2024

PAR News - Tues, 09 Apr 2024
PAR News - Tues, 09 Apr 2024
PAR News
April 9, 2024
News

TOPLINE

  • The Punjab Food Department will commence wheat procurement from April 22, 2024, through 393 centers, following approval of the wheat procurement policy. Bardana applications will be accepted from April 13, with distribution starting on April 19, and wheat intake at centers beginning April 22.
  • NEPRA increased Discos' tariff by Rs 4.92 per unit for February 2024 due to higher fuel costs. Nepra directed CPPA-G and the Ministry of Energy to analyze the impact of lifting commercial-based load-shedding on demand and propose measures to address declining demand.
  • Transporters have hiked fares by up to 100%, causing distress among passengers traveling for Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations. The Met Office forecasts a rainy and windy spell across Pakistan during Eid holidays from April 10-15, with two weather systems bringing rains, windstorms, and thunderstorms. Isolated hailstorms are also expected in the North as well.
  • The FBR collected Rs 6.710 trillion during July-March 2023-24, exceeding the target by Rs 3 billion. The government aims for a 30% increase in revenue collection to Rs 9.415 trillion for 2023-24. Worker remittance inflows surged by 31% reaching $3 billion, the highest monthly inflow in 22 months.
  • PM Shehbaz and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman agreed to expedite the first phase of a $5 billion Saudi investment package for Pakistan. Finance Minister Aurangzeb will meet IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva in Washington next week. Additionally, Iranian President Raisi is expected to visit Pakistan in mid-April to ease tensions.
  • US Treasury Secretary Yellen stated that the United States "will not accept" the scenario of underpriced Chinese goods dominating the global market, causing harm to industries in other countries, as she concluded high-level talks in China during her four-day meetings in Guangzhou and Beijing.

AGRI-UPDATES - COMMODITIES, POLICY & DEVELOPMENTS

  • Punjab Starts Wheat Procurement: April 22 - The Punjab Food Department will commence wheat procurement from April 22, 2024, through 393 centers, following approval of the wheat procurement policy. Bardana applications will be accepted from April 13, with distribution starting on April 19, and wheat intake at centers beginning April 22. [BR] [ET]
  • Commerce Minister: Onion Export Ban Won't Extend - Commerce Minister Jam Kamal Khan stated that the ban on onion exports, initially for Ramadan until April 15, will not be extended despite exporters' request. He mentioned this after a meeting with Pakistan Business Council officials, clarifying that no extension is under consideration, despite exporters urging for an extension until April 30. [Dawn]
  • Customs Raises Duty: The FBR's Customs classification committee has increased the customs duty to 20% on imported "CDM MAS CRUMBS," which were previously taxed at 11% under a different tariff heading. The decision was made after it was discovered that M/s Mondelez Pakistan was misclassifying the product to benefit from lower tariff rates. [BR]

ENERGY - WEATHER, WATER & POWER

  • NEPRA Raises Discos' Tariff - Fuel Costs Surge: NEPRA increased Discos' tariff by Rs 4.92 per unit for February 2024 due to higher fuel costs, following a hearing officiated by chairman Waseem Mukhtar. Nepra directed CPPA-G and the Ministry of Energy to analyze the impact of lifting commercial-based load-shedding on demand and propose measures to address declining demand. [BR] [Dawn]
  • AD Ports & Kaheel JV: $220M Investment in KGTL - AD Ports Group and Kaheel Terminals JV will inject $220 million over 10 years into Karachi Gateway Terminal Limited (KGTL) at Port of Karachi for infrastructure. KGTL, under a 50-year concession with Karachi Port Trust, plans to handle larger vessels, increasing annual container capacity to 1 million TEUs from 750,000, with current revenue at $55 million and EBITDA around $30 million. [The News]
  • OGDCL Strikes Gas at Nur West#01: Tight Gas Discovery - OGDCL discovered gas at Well Nur West#01 in Sindh province, testing 1.24 mmscfd from the Lower Goru Formation, classified as Tight Gas. This showcases OGDCL's exploration strategy and has the potential to enhance hydrocarbon reserves for both the company and the country. Under the new Tight Gas Policy 2024, OGDCL aims to explore tight gas by targeting to drill up to 80 wells across the country. [BR] [ET]
  • EDB Issues 34 Licenses for EV Manufacturers: The EDB issued 34 licenses to manufacturers of two- and three-wheelers under the Electric Vehicles Policy for 2020-2025, indicating a transition to EVs. Private partners are also joining the EV manufacturing sector, according to a senior EDB official speaking at an SDPI webinar on Pakistan's electric vehicle market. [Dawn]
  • Eid Travelers Distressed: Transport Fare Hikes Up to 100% - Transporters have hiked fares by up to 100%, causing distress among passengers traveling to their hometowns for Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations. The spokesperson for the National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP) mentioned taking special actions against overcharging and overloading by transporters when speaking to Business Recorder. [BR] [ET]
  • Eid Ul Fitr Holidays: Rainy, Windy Spell Expected - The Met Office forecasts a rainy and windy spell across Pakistan during Eid Ul Fitr holidays from April 10 to April 15, with two weather systems bringing rains, windstorms, and thunderstorms. Isolated hailstorms are also expected, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Punjab from April 13 to April 15. [BR] [Dawn]

PAKISTAN - ECONOMICS, POLITICS & SECURITY

  • PM Sharif, Crown Prince Accelerate $5B Saudi Investment: PM Shehbaz Sharif and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman agreed to expedite the first phase of a $5 billion Saudi investment package for Pakistan during their recent meeting. This decision follows the crown prince's directive last January to study increasing the deposit amount in the State Bank of Pakistan to $5 billion. [BR] [Dawn] [ET]
  • Minister to Meet IMF MD: Iranian President's Pakistan Visit - Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb will meet IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva in Washington next week. Lower-level interactions with US officials are anticipated, including Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Donald Lu and a Deputy Under Secretary of Treasury. Additionally, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is expected to visit Pakistan in mid-April to ease tensions after a recent missile exchange. [ET] [ET]
  • FBR Exceeds Revenue Target: Rs 6.710 Trillion Collected - The FBR collected Rs 6.710 trillion during July-March 2023-24, exceeding the target by Rs 3 billion, attributed to collaborative efforts with SIFC. The government aims for a 30% increase in revenue collection to Rs 9.415 trillion for 2023-24, with SIFC aiding in investment facilitation and tax process refinement. [BR]
  • March 2024 Remittance Inflows Surge: Worker remittance inflows surged by 31 percent in March 2024 compared to February 2024, reaching $3 billion, the highest monthly inflow in 22 months, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). On a year-on-year basis, remittances increased by 16.4 percent, totaling $2.536 billion in March 2024. [BR] [Dawn] [ET]
  • Media Silence Directive for Finance Ministry, FBR: The Finance Ministry and FBR officials have been instructed not to interact with the media, as reported by Business Recorder from anonymous sources. While attributed to budget preparation, there's speculation among senior officials that this directive aims to prevent deliberate sabotage of reform efforts by the new finance minister, though no specific names were provided. [BR]
  • Senate to Elect Chairman, Deputy Chairman on Tuesday: The upper house of parliament will elect its chairman and deputy chairman on Tuesday after a month-long hiatus following the retirement of half its members. Despite a boycott by PTI, 43 senators will take oath before the election schedule is announced, with the Senate meeting at 9am and the announcement expected at 12:30pm, according to the Senate Secretariat. [Dawn]

INTERNATIONAL - MARKET, POLITICS, SECURITY & DEVELOPMENT

  • Israeli Genocide: Israel and Hamas dampened hopes for quick progress in Cairo talks on a Gaza truce and hostage release, despite earlier reports of "significant progress." With the Gaza conflict ongoing, Israel faces pressure, including from the US, to agree to a ceasefire. Prime Minister Netanyahu vowed to defeat remaining Hamas fighters in Rafah, saying Israel is "one step away from victory" six months after the October 7 attack. [Dawn]
  • Ramadan Leftovers to Fertilizer: In Malaysia's Pahang state, a government initiative converts leftover food from breaking the Ramadan fast into organic fertilizer to reduce wastage, particularly during the holy month. A mobile machine in Kuantan allows families to dispose of leftovers, promoting sustainability while gathering to break their fast with local dishes. [Dawn]
  • Iran Inaugurates New Consulate in Damascus After Airstrike: Iran's foreign minister inaugurated the new consulate in Damascus a week after a deadly strike blamed on Israel destroyed the former premises, escalating tensions. Tehran vowed retaliation for the airstrike on the Iranian embassy's consular section, which killed seven IRGC members, including two generals. [Dawn]
  • Yellen Warns Against Underpriced Chinese Goods: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated that the United States "will not accept" the scenario of underpriced Chinese goods dominating the global market, causing harm to industries in other countries, as she concluded high-level talks in China. During her four-day meetings in Guangzhou and Beijing, Yellen reiterated concerns about China's surplus industrial capacity. [BR] [Bloomberg]
  • Brent Crude Steady at $91 Amid Israel-Gaza Talks: Global oil benchmark Brent steadied above $91 a barrel on Monday, with early losses tempered by Israel's troop withdrawal from Gaza and commitments to ceasefire talks. Brent crude futures hovered around $91.01 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $86.82. Earlier, both benchmarks had dropped over $2. [ET] [BT]

OPINION(S) & REMAINDERS

  • Sazgar Engineering: Auto Rickshaw Sales Dip 12% - Sazgar Engineering Works Limited (PSX: SAZEW) experienced a 12% drop in auto rickshaw sales in March 2024, selling 1,341 units compared to 1,524 units in February. Production saw a marginal increase of 2.17% month-on-month, with 1,551 units made in March versus 1,515 units in February. [MG]
  • Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee to Sight Shawwal Crescent: The Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee in Islamabad will convene today to sight the Shawwal crescent, potentially leading to a same-day Eid celebration across the Muslim world, as several countries opt to celebrate Eid Ul Fitr on Wednesday after the crescent was not sighted on Monday. [Dawn]
  • Opinion: Climate Change’s Impact on Cotton Production - “When considering adapting cotton farming to climate change, several factors come into play. Firstly, selecting the appropriate cotton variety based on regional climate and seasonal conditions is crucial, as certain varieties may thrive better under specific weather conditions. Secondly, planting at the optimal time can help mitigate the impact of extreme weather events like droughts or heavy rains. Thirdly, the judicious application of balanced fertilizers can enhance crop growth and resilience.” - By Sajid Mahmood [BR]
PAR News - Tues, 09 Apr 2024

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