KARACHI: Millers have reduced the prices of various flour varieties by Re1 to Rs2 per kg following the arrival of new wheat crop from Sindh.
Majority of the flour millers have suspended lifting last year’s crop of wheat from Sindh government at Rs3,340 per 100kg. Instead, they are buying new crop at price of Rs3,000-3,125 per 100kg bag in Karachi’s open market.
The new price of flour No.2.5 is Rs36-36.50 per kg as compared to Rs38-38.50 per kg while super fine flour rate has been decreased to Rs38-38.50 from Rs40 per kg.
Retailers said 5kg and 10kg bags of Bake Parlor and Ashrafi Atta now sell at Rs220 and Rs430 each, a reduction of Rs10 per bag.
Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA)’s Sindh Chairman Saman Mal Bewnani said wheat crop from Mirpurkhas, Sanghar, Nawabshah and Khairpur areas started arriving in the market in the last 10-15 days.
In these areas, a 100kg bag is available at Rs3,000.
The above rates at present are the same as last year. New wheat from more Sindh growing areas will arrive in coming days while wheat from Punjab producing areas will hit the market from April 15.
Mr Bewnani said growers are looking forward to selling their wheat to the government at a rate of Rs1,300 per 40kg, the price fixed by the Sindh government.
He said another reason of declining prices was a weak demand of flour in rural areas as flour is being made from locally grown wheat. The demand of flour is going to be normal in urban areas.
The overall wheat crop in Pakistan is estimated at 25-26 million tonnes in which Sindh will harvest about 3.5m tonnes.
The Sindh government has planned to procure 1.1m tonnes from growers this year as compared to 900,000 tonnes last year. However, the Sindh government still has over 500,000 tonnes stocks of last year’s crop.
The country’s wheat stocks were over 5m tonnes including last year’s crop which could not be exported due to very low rates prevailing in the world market. In the same period last year, wheat stocks were 5.4m tonnes.
“In case we import wheat now it will cost Rs2,500-2,600 per 100kg bag due to depressed rates in world market which is far lower than locally produced wheat price,” PFMA chief said. Wheat export’s target of 1.2m tonnes could not be met despite transport rebate from $45-55 per tonne.
According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, only 400 tonnes of wheat were exported during July-February 2015-16, fetching just $95,000 as compared to 3,192 tonnes that earned one million dollars. Exports dropped to 10,441 tonnes ($3m) in 2014-15 from 20,037 tonnes ($7m) in 2013-14.