KARACHI: While showing no mercy for the inflation-hit consumers, the millers have further jacked up per kg prices by Rs7 in flour no.2.5 and Rs10 in fine and super fine flour (maida).

The new rate of flour no.2.5 has been fixed at Rs106 per kg while fine and super fine flour rates are now Rs114 per kg, a miller said, adding that the new rate of 10kg flour bag has been increased to Rs1,065 from Rs995.

Karachi Wholesalers Grocers Group (KWGA) Rauf Ibrahim said the wheat rate in the open market has swelled to Rs9,200 per 100 kg bag from Rs8,500 two days back.

He said the arrival of wheat in Karachi from interior Sindh has been confined to only 6,600 tonnes a day from 10,000-12,000 tonnes owing to flash floods that have destroyed road network as well as wheat stocks.

Super fine variety sells Rs114 a kg

He said the government should allow the private sector to import wheat to bridge the demand and supply gap as the Sindh government would release wheat to the millers by October or November.

The arrival of imported wheat in the last two years has not played a significant role in curbing the bullish trend in local prices.

Pakistan imported 1.7 million tonnes in FY21 in which Punjab was given over one million tonnes followed by 444,935 tonnes to Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, 117,528 tonnes to Sindh and 114, 532 tonnes to Passco to stabilise prices, showed Trading Corporation of Pakistan’s (TCP) data.

The private sector imported around 1.5m tonnes in the above period.

In FY22, 2.23m tonnes were imported by the TCP and delivered 519,412 tonnes to KP and 1.684m tonnes to Passco.

The country imported 211,597 tonnes of wheat in July valuing $107m, showed Pakistan Bureau of Statistics data.

Rauf Ibrahim said as per market reports, around 800,000 tonnes of wheat had arrived in August through TCP. The government had not allowed the private sector to import the grain in FY22.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2022

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