Citrus, Pakistan Agriculture News

Kinnow exports hit record high at 370,000 tons

KARACHI: Pakistan’s kinnow exports touched a record high at 370,000 tons in the 2017-18 season, up 45,000 tons compared to shipments of 325,000 tons in previous year, according to data compiled by the Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA).

Kinnow exports in the 2017-18 season were estimated to have fetched $222 million. Exports of the citrus fruit commenced in December 2017 and continued till the beginning of May 2018.

“The export volume of kinnow this season has been the highest ever during any season,” commented PFVA Patron-in-Chief Waheed Ahmed.

An excellent crop of kinnow in Pakistan and low production by major producers like Morocco contributed to higher exports from Pakistan to the Russian market.

Waheed, who is also vice-president of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), said the FPCCI played an important role in enabling the PFVA to take exports to the record peak by raising the issue of unrealistic high valuation of Pakistani kinnow in the Russian market. Now, the Russians are willing to reduce the valuation.

Meanwhile, efforts were also made by the PFVA against the quota imposed by the Indonesian government on the import of Pakistani kinnow. The Indonesian government has now withdrawn the quota system.

However, for the last seven consecutive years, the export of kinnow to the Iranian market, having potential for 60,000 to 80,000 tons, has not resumed.

Kinnow exports could also receive a boost as the country is expected to get an opportunity to export fruits and vegetables to a huge market of China under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which provides easy access to China via road. Pakistan can export 50,000 to 80,000 tons of kinnow to China in the next three years.

However, according to Waheed, Pakistan’s kinnow trees have already completed their lifecycle and hence lost resistance to attacking diseases. Thus, kinnow orchards having such trees are suffering from various diseases.

“Since new orchards are not being planted, it is feared that kinnow production and exports will suffer huge losses in the near future,” he said.