ISLAMABAD: Owing to bumper crops during last four years, Pakistan has become a wheat surplus and exporting country, as the traders have exported the wheat during recent months.
“During the current year, the public sector wheat stocks were 9.30 million ton including current procurement of 5.79 million ton and last year carry-over stocks of 3.51 million ton.
The public sector on the average annually releases 6.5 million ton to flour mills and other agencies/areas. Maintaining the Strategic Reserve of one million ton, the country is left with 1.80 million ton surplus. Thus the country is quite comfortable in wheat supply during the current year.
“In view of sound supply position, the government has allowed the private sector to export wheat and its products. It is reported that the private traders have exported wheat and its products from the open market in recent months in the wake of rising prices in the world market. Major portion of these exports comes from wheat flour, accruing value addition receipts to the economy,” an official handout said on Monday.
“The government has opened release of wheat to the flour mills with effect from September 01 last however as per report of provincial food departments the releases are slow this year as compared to last year indicating some stocks of wheat are available with the private sector. This will further improve the availability of wheat stocks,” it said.
The release price is being regularly monitored by the provincial food departments and is adjusted in line with the emerging domestic and world situation to ensure ample supply of the staple food grain for the sake of food security at home, it said.
Pakistan had a bumper harvest of wheat crop for the last 4 years, with an all-time record production of 25.21 million ton in 2010-11. For the year 2011-12, the wheat crop was estimated at 23.52 million ton, it said.
Wheat is not only the major staple food grain but also the food security crop of Pakistan. Being a very sensitive commodity, a small change in its price and availability has a considerable impact on consumers, especially the poor sections of the community. Hence the Government is much concerned with its supply and demand situation so as to ensure the availability of this basic food security item for the masses.