- 3 smaller vessels having not more than 40,000 MT of wheat will be imported through the TCP via Gwadar.
- Cotton import volume fell during FY22 to 4.55 million bales. Average unit price of imports rose to $2.36 per kg, up 36% compared to $1.73 per kg during the preceding year.
- The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved Rs10 billion additional funds to provide emergency relief to flood-affected citizens. International celebrities are leading flood-relief efforts as well.
- Pakistan’s current account deficit shrank by 19% during the first two months of this fiscal year (FY23) due to lower import bill and increase in exports.
- President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered Russia's first mobilisation of 300,000 reservists and backed a plan to annex swathes of Ukraine alongside a nuclear threat to the West.
- Malaysia’s palm oil stocks could rise to a 3-1/2-year high by the end of 2022 as exports are likely to take a hit from rival Indonesia waiving export levies.
COMMODITIES - CROPS, LIVESTOCK & HORTICULTURE
- Flour Price: Consumers in Karachi are likely to get 10kg flour bags at Rs650 from Sept 26 as the Sindh government will start releasing wheat to the mills at Rs5,825 per 100kg bag. [Dawn]
- Wheat Import Contract: The Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) has proposed to allow TCP to award a contract of imported wheat, initially for three smaller vessels not exceeding 40,000 MT tonnage, for berthing at Gwadar Sea Port, official sources told Business Recorder. [BR]
- New Wheat Varieties: The University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) in collaboration with Washington State University is working on 30 new wheat varieties keeping in view climate change. This was disclosed in the Senate meeting of the UAF chaired by the Punjab minister for higher education, Yasir Humayun. The meeting approved the university budget of Rs11,727 million for 2022-23 and establishment of Arts and Humanities Faculty. [DT]
- Cotton Imports: Cotton import volume fell during FY22 to 4.55 million bales as industrial demand moderated in response to escalation in prices. Average unit price of imports rose to $2.36 per kg, up 36% compared to $1.73 per kg the preceding year when Pakistan had imported a record volume of 5 million bales. Incidentally, this was the first time since FY11 when the unit price of imports rose above $2 per kg, after a decade of international market prices remaining range bound between $1.5 and under $2 per kg. [BR]
AGRI-INPUTS, WEATHER, WATER & POWER
- Flood Relief: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Wednesday approved Rs10 billion additional funds to provide emergency relief to flood-affected citizens and ordered the release against payment of surcharge of imported goods held up during a temporary ban on luxury and non-essential items. [Dawn]
- Angelina Jolie Met Victims of the Recent Floods: "I feel overwhelmed but I feel it is not fair to say that since I am not living this." Speaking from the heart, humanitarian and actor Angelina Jolie visited the National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) on Wednesday. [ET] [Dawn]
- Government-Farmers Talks: In a late night development, talks between representatives of Kissan Ittehad and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah remained successful after which the farmers called off their protest. [Dawn]
AGRI UPDATES & PAKISTAN POLICY
- Pak-China Agriculture Trade: A high-level meeting of the China-Pakistan Joint Working Group (JWG) discussed: Cows and Chilis. A little known but significant part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) agreement is boosting agricultural trade between the two countries. [PT]
- ECC Takes Step to Clear Consignments Stuck at Ports: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet Wednesday directed that the consignments of previously banned items that landed in Pakistan till 18th August 2022 may be released at the rate of surcharge to clear consignments stuck at ports. [BR]
- Current Account Deficit: The country’s current account deficit shrank by 19% during the first two months of this fiscal year (FY23) due to lower import bill and increase in exports. Pakistan recorded a current account deficit amounting to $1.92 billion in July-Aug of FY23 compared to $2.374 billion in the same period of last fiscal year, depicting a decline of $456 million. [BR]
- Pakistan GDP Growth: Bringing down its growth forecast for Pakistan’s economy to 3.5%, from 4.5% projected in April, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) linked the country’s medium-term prospects to the restoration of political stability and uninterrupted implementation of the IMF programme to rebuild economic stability and fiscal and external buffers. [Dawn] [ET] [The News]
- Clearing Import-Related Payments: The State Bank of Pakistan has assured the business community of clearing all backlog import-related payments of less than $50,000 within two days, said a statement issued by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI). [Dawn] [PKR]
- Banks Complicit in Currency Manipulation: As the Pakistani currency tested a new all-time low of Rs240 against the dollar on Wednesday, country’s top policymakers described the current economic situation as “worrisome” and “stressful”, as a parliamentary hearing confirmed reports that commercial banks quoted high dollar rates that caused more volatility in the exchange market. [ET]
- Treasury Bills Auction: The lending rate of commercial banks spiked to a record high at 16% on financing to the cash-strapped government, as demand for funds stood high for flood rehabilitation work and meeting other budgeted expenditures. [ET]
- Islamabad ‘Fortified’ as Imran Reveals March Plans: PTI chairman and deposed premier Imran Khan on Wednesday announced that his party's movement for “Haqeeqi Azaadi'' – ‘real freedom' - would begin from September 24 and he sought the participation of the country's legal fraternity in it. Rana Sanaullah threatens governor’s rule in Punjab and KP, warns of action if marchers attempt to reach D-Chowk. Imran stated that an Army of lions led by a jackal will always lose’, taking a dig at Nawaz-Shehbaz consultation. [ET] [DT] [BR] [Dawn]
INTERNATIONAL – OVERVIEW & MARKET OUTLOOK
- Russia-Ukraine War: President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered Russia's first mobilisation of 300,000 reservists in a major escalation and backed a plan to annex swathes of Ukraine, warning the West he was not bluffing when he said he'd be ready to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia. [Reuters] [France 24] [ET]
- US Interest Rates: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell vowed officials would crush inflation after they raised interest rates by 75 basis points for a third straight time and signaled even more aggressive hikes ahead than investors had expected. Officials forecast that rates would reach 4.4% by the end of this year and 4.6% in 2023, a more hawkish shift in their so-called dot plot than anticipated. That implies a fourth-straight 75 basis-point hike could be on the cards in November. [Bloomberg]
- Indian Rice Cargoes: India is considering allowing the overseas shipment of some rice cargoes stuck at ports after the world’s biggest exporter of the grain imposed restrictions earlier this month. [ET] [Reuters]
- Malaysia’s Palm Oil Stocks: Malaysia’s palm oil stocks could rise to a 3-1/2-year high by the end of 2022 as exports are likely to take a hit from rival Indonesia waiving export levies to bring down stockpiles. [BR]
PAKISTAN - REMAINDERS
- Opinion: Do we need a glacial policy? - “Imagine a whole lake fishing down a mountain at once, carrying ice and rock within it. This is the reality of the lesser known threat in the high mountains, which grows more common and occurs as the climate changes; the Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs). Global temperatures are rising, and glaciers are melting worldwide. The melting creates feeble, dammed glacial lakes that can violently burst, resulting in floods that devastate downstream communities.” - By Syeda Zahra Shah Subzwari [ET]