The kinnow export season will commence from end November and Pakistan is expected to export more than 300,000 tons of kinnows to world markets –mainly in Middle East and East Asia, an official source said. The reports we have received about the kinnow crop say that production was good but not quite as good as last year. Despite this, the export target would be met as the local exporters have developed very good linkages in the international markets, he added.
Pakistan stands among the top ten citrus growing countries in the world. Kinnow is grown primarily in the plains of Punjab province. The kinnow season lasts from December to March with the peak occurring in mid of January. Pakistan’s production capacity is 1.28 million tons per season. Last season, the country exported 340,000 tons of kinnow, fetching around $200 million. The source said Pakistan has a Preferential Trade Agreement with Indonesia. However, the amount of export to Indonesia tends to fluctuate. Indonesian department of agriculture determines how many products are actually going to be imported, based on yearly quotas. Last year Pakistani mandarins were allowed from December to April. This year however, we can only export to Indonesia in January and February. The quotas are meant to protect local Indonesian farmers, even though the quality of their produce isn’t as good as ours, the source added.
Exporter Ahmad Jawad confirmed that the export target would be met as the crop was good. He said exports would remain around 320,000 tons during the next season and the main destination will remain the Middle Eastern markets. “Negotiations are underway with Indonesia to allow us exports for the month of December and January to tap the market at 0 percent duty.”
About the kinnow exports to EU under GSP Plus scheme, he said, the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of National Food Security had not so far completed work on meeting the export requirements of EU for the fruit. So once again this year, kinnow would not be exported to EU despite Pakistan’s GSP plus status. Similarly, Iran is a good market yet the Iranian agriculture ministry did not respond to the Pakistani ministries of agriculture and commerce proposals to commence official trade. However, he said, unofficial trade will resume through Taftan with good expected volumes. Official source estimate that Pakistan sells around 20 percent of its citrus production just to Iran. Meanwhile, Afghanistan and Iran also act like logistical nodes, through which trade with countries like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Iraq and Azerbaijan is made possible.