Having temporarily risen in March this year, rice prices of the Pakistani variety appear to have started easing again in April. A demand glut from China was responsible for the one-off increase in March, with the Asian giant upping its rice imports to contain rice prices at home.
The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline may or may not happen but the two countries may well see the barter trade of wheat and urea pretty soon. The authorities have reportedly agreed for exports of one million tons of wheat from Pakistan to the sanction-hit neighbour, in return of urea imports equalling the amount.
This must have come as a great respite for sugar industry which had long been shuttling back and forth the decision-making corridors to get excess stocks off their backs. A delegation of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association - the industry body - recently met the President of Pakistan, and apparently got their wish list fulfilled. The sales pitch, again, centered on making payments to the sugar cane growers.
Amongst a dozen others, Pakistan has landed on USAs annual watch list as the ultimate offenders of intellectual property rights (IPR). The special report revealed it all where the Office of United States Trade Representative (USTR) put 40 out of its 77 trading partners under two-tiered scrutiny: priority watch list and watch list.
Pakistani agriculture products are the best in the world, yet the sector has not excelled to its true potential. The focus of untrained people in the horticulture field has been on increasing production, rather than on improving the quality of the product.
It has been over a month since the original auction date of the 3G spectrum license (and that of defunct Instaphone licence) passed by. PTA, the executor of the potentially billion dollar transaction remains lapsed into nirvana. By all means, there is very little probability of the auction to be completed within this fiscal year.
Asian liquefied natural gas prices have been creeping up ahead of summers towards $16 per mmbtu. This trend is likely to continue up until the end of the summer season with Japan-the largest LNG importer-gearing for its fist summers without nuclear power after the tsunami catastrophe.