Pakistan To Face Acute Wheat Shortage In April

Pakistan’s Finance Ministry confirmed that there is an acute shortage of Wheat in Pakistan and asserted that the wheat stocks in the country stand at 3.3 million tons which is barely enough to last through the end of April given annual demand of 30 million tons.

Echoing similar sentiment was Pakistani President Imran Khan’s announcement last week to import two million tons of wheat from Russia. This move was taken to augment the country’s depleting reserves, reported Business Recorder.

The yield of the most commonly used staple, wheat was also lower than last year. A press release by the Finance Ministry confirmed that wheat sowing was achieved only at 8.98 million hectares, 2.2 per cent lower than last year.

However, with the current situation in mind, only a bumper yield of over 3.2 tons per ha can help the country. Else, the exorbitant import bill will be hard for Pakistan to pay in midst of the economic crisis that the country is going through.

Moreover, the market is witnessing extreme volatility due to ongoing conflict in the Black Sea region, it is unlikely that prices will stay within this range for more than six months.

According to BR Research’s in-house estimates, Pakistan’s wheat import bill in the worst-case scenario may climb up to USD 4.25 billion during FY23, with likely import bills clocking between USD 2.5 – USD 3.5 billion.

Although this represents a tremendous year-on-year increase over the estimated import bill of USD 0.75 billion during FY22 (and nearly USD 1 billion in FY21), coughing up an additional USD 2 – USD 3 billion is not impossible for an economy of Pakistan’s size. Consider that Pakistan’s cotton import bill doubled from USD 0.75 billion to USD 1.5 billion between FY19 and FY21, reported Business Recorder. (ANI)

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