March 11, 2014
The country has 2.468 million wheat stocks in hand, including 1.00 million tons strategic reserves whereas, closing stock of the commodity will be around 1.41 million tons at the end of the food year. According to a summary prepared by Ministry of National Food Security and Research and submitted to Economic Co-ordination Committee copy of which is available with Business Recorder, the current public sector wheat stocks as on March 3, 2014 are at 2.468 million tons.
The wheat stocks include strategic reserves of 1.00 million tons being maintained by Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Services Cooperation (PASSCO), sources said. They said that it is expected that closing stocks of wheat will be around 1.41 million tons at the end of the food year. Out of 2.468 million tons wheat stock, Punjab has 0.986 million tons, Sindh 0.148 million tons, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 0.141 million tons, Balochistan 0.0067 million tons and PASSCO 1.126 million tons, they said.
Sources said that during the current financial year, the private sector wheat exports (July 2013- January 2014) are reported at 0.3 million tons while private sector wheat imports are to the tune of 0.47 million tons. The public sector during the last fiscal year 2012-13 procured 5.95 million tons wheat against a procurement target of 7.91 million tons. Low wheat procurement was due to short supply in the open market. During the last three years, the public sector wheat procurement on average has remained around 6.0 million tons per annum, sources said.
They said that as a policy to ensure food security and fair return to wheat growers, public sector every year procures wheat at announced price from the farmers. Public sector wheat stocks are maintained to augment flow during the lean period of wheat supplies as well as for fulfilling the food requirements of deficient provinces, they said.
They said that for wheat procurement, the government annually announces the support price for the crop. Ministry of National Food Security and Research consulted the provincial governments from October 3, 2013 onward about wheat support price for 2013-14. However, the majority of the provinces agreed to maintain the support price of 2013-14 crop at the last year level of Rs 1,200 per 40 kg, they said. Recorder