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Prices of foodstuff in Pakistan set to increase
Publication Date : 03-10-2013
Market traders have calculated at least five to 15 per cent impact on imported essential food items following the increase in prices of petroleum products and persistent devaluation of rupee against the dollar since the new government took control from June 6, 2013.
Over the past three months, oil prices have already been revised upward thrice.
Commodity dealers said that the impact of devaluation and rising transportation cost in some items has already been passed onto consumers depending on demand and supply situation.
When Nawaz Sharif took charge, diesel was available at 105.7 Pakistani rupees per litre as compared to its current price of 116.95 Pakistani rupees per litre.
Overall petroleum products prices were raised by 10-15 per cent from June onwards.
Chairman, Karachi Wholesalers Grocers Association (KWGA), Anis Majeed, said that many traders of goods have already become cautious in placing orders for imported goods due to uncertain rupee-dollar parity situation, making imports costlier.
One dollar was available at 98 Pakistani rupees on June 6 as compared to current rate of 106 Pakistani rupees in inter-bank market.
Based on demand and supply of goods and changes in the world market prices, import of various items falling under food group plunged by 20 per cent to US$653 million in July August 2013 as compared to $820m in the same period 2012.
According to figures of Federal Bureau of Stastistics (FBS), import of pulses and milk cream/milk for infants dropped by 40 and 45 per cent followed by 20 per cent and 23 per cent fall in palm oil/soyabean oil and spices.Tea imports slightly went up by 3 per cent.
However, he said that the price of various commodities had dropped in world markets but devaluation and rising transportation cost are nullifying the impact to the end users.
India has also devalued its rupee making importers of goods nervous and they have also lowered their future import plans. One of the reasons of drop in world commodities prices was thin orders from Indian importers, Anis Majeed said.
He urged the State Bank of Pakistan to take more steps to rescue rupee falling.
Commodity importer and former KCCI president Haroon Agar, analysing the impact of devaluation on commodity price from June 6 till to-date said the loss of 8 per cent rupee value and increase in POL rates caused 7 Pakistani rupees to 7.50 Pakistani rupees per kg impact on imported pulses followed by 13 Pakistani rupees per kg in various brands of imported milk arriving from US, France and Germany.
In spices, he said devaluation made an impact of 60-70 Pakistani rupees per kg as a majority of spices are being imported.
President, Falahi Anjuman Wholesale Vegetable Market Super Highway, Haji Shahjehan, said consumers paid at least 10-15 Pakistani rupees per kg more for greens since June due to rising production cost on account of increasing transportation charges.
Rupee devaluation, he added, had jacked up prices of imported items, like ginger, garlic and tomato.
Currently, all vegetables rates have been high for the last few months. Vegetable prices, especially those which enjoy good demand like onion, tomato, may come under pressure as goods transporters would prefer loading sacrificial animals from up-country rather than vegetables.
US$1=105.8 Pakistani rupees