- Pakistan is missing its wheat production target for the last three years due to the climate change effects, claim agricultural scientists. However, the federal cabinet was informed that Pakistan has ample wheat reserves to meet the needs of people for the current year. Moreover, flour millers expressed concerns over rapidly depleting private wheat stocks, urging the provincial food department to increase wheat quota to keep the flour prices in control.
- Deadlock on allowing sugar export persists as the third round of talks between the government and the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association failed to yield any result. The sugar industry has been constantly appealing to the government for the last year that surplus sugar is exported so that it could be released.
- The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority has slashed the power tariff by Rs 2.15 per unit for the KE consumers on account of fuel cost adjustment for October.
- PTI has started the preparations for the general elections by starting work on the formation of parliamentary boards for Punjab.
- The FBR collected Rs 2.688 trillion in the first five months of the current fiscal year, exceeding the target set for the period by just Rs 8 billion, while the IMF has remained unsatisfied with the revenue and spending plans shared by Pakistan and has sought additional information.
COMMODITIES - CROPS, LIVESTOCK & HORTICULTURE
- Smuggling Bid Foiled: 350 wheat flour bags were seized by the Pindi food dept during three raids on Wednesday. [ET]
- Wheat Production Target: Pakistan is missing its wheat production target for the last three years due to the climate change effects, agricultural scientists said on Wednesday, claiming that this year’s extraordinarily high temperatures in March and April damaged the wheat crop at the time of grain filling while in the previous two years, weather was cold and conducive for the wheat rust, which caused low-yield of the crop. [The News]
- Wheat Stocks: The federal cabinet, on Wednesday, was informed that Pakistan has ample wheat reserves to meet the needs of people for the current year. The federal cabinet met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. While briefing media in Islamabad about the decisions taken by the federal cabinet, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said the current stocks of wheat are two percent more than the stocks of last year. [BR] [Dawn]
- Increase Wheat Quota: Flour millers expressing their grave concern over rapidly depleting private wheat stocks, Progressive Flour Millers Group has urged the provincial food department to increase wheat quota for the millers to keep the flour prices in control. [BR]
- Sugar Export: Deadlock on allowing sugar export persisted on Wednesday, as the third round of talks between the government and the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) failed to yield any result, sources privy to the negotiations at the Food Security Ministry said. [ET] [ARY]
- Sugar Stocks: According to the spokesman, there are ample surplus stocks of sugar available in the country to the tune of 1.2 million metric tons. The sugar industry has been constantly appealing to the government for the last year that the surplus sugar is exported so that it could be released from the banks and the new working capital be provided by the banks. [Pro Pakistani]
- Ban on GMO Soybean: The APSEA (All Pakistan Solvent Extractors’ Association) patron-in-chief, Shehzad Ali Khan while briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on National Food Security meeting, said that they are importing oil seed and its powder used in poultry feed. “We have been importing soybean seeds since 2015,” he said, adding “Our nine shipments of soyabean seeds have been seized by customs authorities since October 20 at Port Qasim, Karachi. If the shipment of soyabean seeds was not allowed it would badly affect the poultry industry in the country.” [BR]
- Leather Goods: $212.5 million was the value of leather goods exported in July-Oct 2022, up 2.7% compared to $206.9 million last year. [ET]
AGRI-INPUTS, WEATHER, WATER & POWER
- Fuel Charge Adjustment: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) is to allow negative adjustment of Rs 2.15 per unit in consumer-end tariff of K-Electric (KE) for October 2022 under monthly Fuel Charges Adjustment (FCA) mechanism amid serious concerns of consumers regarding charging about two times higher tariff by the power utility company as compared to Discos. [BR]
- Power Tariff Relief: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) Wednesday slashed the power tariff by Rs 2.15 per unit for the Karachi Electric (KE) consumers on account of fuel cost adjustment (FCA) for October. The decision will bring a relief of Rs 3.59 billion to the Karachi Electric consumers, a Nepra official said. [The News] [Samaa]
- Fuel Prices: In the fortnightly prices’ review of petroleum products, the price of kerosene oil (SKO) has been reduced by 5.2 % and light diesel oil (LDO) by 3.8 %, The price of light diesel oil (LDO) will now be Rs 179 per liter, while the price of kerosene will be Rs 181.83 per liter, a decrease of Rs 7.50 and Rs 10 per liter respectively. The decision means that the price of petrol will remain at Rs 224.80 per liter, and high-speed diesel (HSD) at Rs 235.30. [BR] [ET] [Pro Pakistani]
- Wind Power Projects: The Federal Minister for Energy (Power Division) Khurram Dastgir Khan, on Wednesday, inaugurated two wind power projects with capacity of 110 megawatts at the Jhimpir District in Thatta. [ET] [DT] [The News] [APP]
AGRI UPDATES & PAKISTAN POLICY
- General Elections: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has started the preparations for the general elections by starting work on the formation of parliamentary boards for Punjab, which will be responsible for the distribution of party tickets for national and provincial assemblies. [BR]
- Revenue Collection: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) collected Rs 2.688 trillion in the first five months of the current fiscal year, exceeding the target set for the period by just Rs 8 billion, showed provisional data released on Thursday. FBR has exceeded both the targets of Rs 2,680 billion set for July-November (2022-23) and the monthly target of Rs 537 billion for November 2022. [BR] [Dawn] [ET] [PT] [APP] [FBR] [Pro Pakistani]
- IMF Unsatisfied with Revenue Plan: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has remained unsatisfied with the revenue and spending plans shared by Pakistan and has sought additional information, including details of shelved development projects that have now been taken up again as a top priority of the government. [ET]
- Auto Export Zone at Port Qasim: In order to encourage investment in the auto sector in Pakistan, the government has decided to establish an Auto Export Zone at Port Qasim in Karachi. Sources told ProPakistani that a decision has been taken to set up an Auto Export Zone to facilitate auto manufacturers. [Pro Pakistani]
INTERNATIONAL – OVERVIEW & MARKET OUTLOOK
- Oil Prices: Oil prices rose by more than $2 on Wednesday on signs of tighter supply, a weaker dollar and optimism over a Chinese demand recovery. But the likelihood that OPEC+ will leave output unchanged at its upcoming meeting limited the gains. Brent crude futures rose $2.34, or 2.82% to $85.37 per barrel by 1455 GMT. The more active February Brent crude contract rose by 3.04% to $86.81. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed $2.43, or 3.11%, to $80.63. [BR] [Yahoo]
- Digital Trade Deal with Ukraine: Britain will Wednesday agree a digital trade deal with Ukraine, whose economy has been ravaged by Russia’s invasion. UK Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch and Ukrainian Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko will meet in London to unveil the deal, the government said in a statement. [BR]
- Dow Falls Ahead of Powell Speech: Wall Street was mixed on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 down ahead of comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell later in the day, while Tesla shares were among top boosts to the Nasdaq after the company’s sales in China nearly doubled. [BR] [Mint] [Nasdaq]
- Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian in West Bank Clash: Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man during clashes in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, Palestinian officials said, a day after five people were killed in separate incidents. The Israeli military said its forces were conducting an arrest raid in the town of Ya'bad near Jenin when suspects hurled explosive devices and shot at the soldiers, who responded with live fire. The Palestinian health ministry said the man succumbed to his wounds after being shot in the chest. [ET] [Reuters] [NP]
- Anti-Drone System: US President Joe Biden, right, participates in a bilateral meeting with Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir of Qatar, in the Oval Office of the White House, on 31 January 2022 (AFP). The US State Department has approved the potential sale of a $1bn anti-drone system to Qatar, the pentagon said on Tuesday. [ME] [Radio Pakistan]
- China’s former leader Jiang Zemin, who steered the country through a transformational era from the late 1980s and into the new millennium, has died at the age of 96, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday. [Dawn] [ET] [Reuters] [BBC] [The Guardian] [CNN]
PAKISTAN - REMAINDERS
- Opinion: Role of LPG in Gas Crisis - “Gas and electricity prices are politically sensitive issues. The IMF compares prices in USD terms in which an energy price hike may not appear to be too high. However, in rupee terms in which Pakistanis earn their income, the energy price increases have been too steep. Elections are approaching as well. While electricity prices have been increased, it would be very difficult to increase gas prices specially for the poor and middle classes.” - By Syed Akhtar Ali [BR]