Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fish export

Exports of fish and fish preparations of Pakistan increased by 16.5% 
during the first half of the current fiscal year.
The exports of fish and fish preparations were recorded at $153million 
during July-December 2011as against the exports of $131.941 million 
during July-December 2010, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics  reported.
In terms of quantity, the fish exports during period under review increased 
by 6% from 57,044 metric tons last year to 60,536 metric tons during this year, the data revealed.
On the other hand, the exports of fish increased by 20.4% during
 December 2011 as compared to the same month of the last fiscal year.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Foreign investment

dearthForeign direct investment(FDI) fell by 27.1 percent from $2150.80 millions in FY10 to $1573.90 millions in FY 11.

There was a decline of 17.2 percent in its value, with the investment falling from $109.80 millions in July 2011 to $90.90 millions in July ,2012.

This does not only hamper GDP growth and employment generation in the country, but also has a battering on the balance of payment which is a big problem for the govt . BOP problem  also exerts pressure on rupee dollar parity.

Law and order situation was main reason but law and order situation has improved somewhat especially on war on terror attacks and suicide bombing. Currently power crisis has taken a big toll on FDI.

Production of steel

As economic growth slow down globally has also impacted  steel industry heavily.

Managing excess capacity in the face of a persistent gap between demand and supply is fast becoming an existential threat for many of the biggest players in the steel industry worldwide.

According to the Global Steel Report released by Ernst and Young, the world  production overcapacity of steelmakers at the beginning of 2012 stood at 493 million tons/annum.

The report of the Ernst and Young adds that since 2001, the global production of steel has grown at an average rate of 6% and over the same period the consumption grew by an average of 5.5 only.

The steel industry is also threatened by the rise in raw material prices, retardation of economic activity in the West and lack of operational agility.

Over the past few decades steel makers enjoyed purchasing power over raw material suppliers.They also had been setting prices for distributors but now the tides have turned on steel manufacturers and purchasing power has shifted to raw material suppliers of iron ore.

As a result, prices of key inputs such as iron ore and coking coal have spiked; corroding the erstwhile high margins pocketed by steel manufacturers.

Being capital intensive business, the industry cannot quickly adjust to the changes in change in demand patterns.
Steel makers inability to make timely operational changes in certain segments means they are stuck with substantial costs that are likely to persist for some time.

Steel makers should broaden product offerings and focus on profitable segments by going for niche markets and focusing on higher margin products.

The focus of POSCO and U.S steel on Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) is an example of specific niche market targeting.

In emerging economies the focus should be on steel used in building infrastructure.

The report also focuses on optimisation of capital, especially since almost about 94% of the financing faced by the steel industry is from debt.

Kino export

 Kino is one of main fruits that are exported to earn precious foreign exchange.
Since the start of Kino harvest season in November 2011 so far fruit exporters of the fruit estimate that exports are at about 100,000 tons.

"At this pace, we are very unlikely to export 300,000 tons of Kinnows by March,2012" laments Mr. Ahmed ,a leading exporter.

The sudden turn of events for the worst in Iran especially on borders is not the only worry for Kino exporters.

The sector has been eyeing negotiations between the Federal Government and its counterparts in Indonesia over a PTA in hopes of re-entering that market with a good bang.

Although Pakistani exporters had found a lucrative market in that country, a Free Trade Agreement between Indonesia and China has left Pakistani fruit exporters uncompetitive there.

Although govt has repeatedly extolled plans to sign a PTA with Indonesia, the said deal is yet to be inked.

Federal Commerce Minister Amin Fahim is expected in Indonesia soon for this purpose.

For fruit exporters and growers, the promise of a broader market lies in the balance.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cars production

Pakistan’s auto industry believes that govt should discourage import of used cars and other used vehicles by amending the existing liberal used cars policy to safeguard the interest of the local auto industry and vendor industry employing about 400,000 people directly and 2,000,000 indirectly. 

The industry estimates that Pakistan’s local auto industry is likely to see increase demand of locally produced cars from 184000 units in the year 2011-12 to 222000 units in 2013, 259000 units in 2014, 293000 units in 2015, 323000 units in 2016 and about 349000 units in 2017. In case the government revises its used cars policy, than there would be more tax collection on sale of increased new cars, there would be more job opportunities in auto assembly as well as vender industry, improved policy would help attract more investors in sector and all this would help reduce the dependence on import by spending precious foreign exchange which are already under pressure. 

The auto maufacturers wants reversal of the used cars policy and allowing only 3 years old and used cars instead of existing 5 years old and bringing depreciation to 1%/annum from existing 2%. 
The industry also demands that registration of used car should remain in the name of overseas Pakistanis on whose name used car have been imported. Otherwise, government should collect tax on registration of such car on any other name instead of overseas Pakistani on whose papers such car was imported. 

As per industry data released, some 13,000 used cars and other vehicles were imported during fiscal 07-08 and when policy was tightened during  08-09 this import dropped to 7,000 and 4000 in 09-10 and just 7000 units in the fiscal 10-11. 

Army medical college Rawalpindi

Around 175 students of Army Medical College received their graduation degrees upon successful completion of the 30th MBBS and 9th BDS course.
Out of these 175  graduates, 144 were conferred upon MBBS degrees while the remaining 31 received their degrees of BDS. The 29th undergraduate convocation took place in the college auditorium and Air Chief Rao Qamar Suleman awarded degrees.
He remarked that performance of the graduates in the examinations, which was evident from the results, was highly impressive and laudable.

He asserted that the affiliation of AMC with National University of Science and Technology had further enhanced its capability to train and produce doctors of exceptional capabilities.
He said that new discoveries in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases were rapidly changing healthcare in a revolutionary manner and that it was imperative the new graduates keep themselves abreast with new medical discoveries. NUST Rector M. Asghar also extended his felicitations to the graduates and asked them to make the best use of their expertise to help those in need.

The Principal of the college Major General Shahida Badshah also congratulated the graduates on completing their degrees and advised them to continue improving their knowledge and skills. The ceremony was attended by graduates and their parents and faculty members were also present on the occasion.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Saving rate in Pakistan

Saving and investment are two key macro variables(indicators) with micro foundations which can
play a significant role in economic growth of a country , inflation stability and promotion of
employment especially if seen in the context of a developing nation like Pakistan. For self reliance
and growth , mobilization of  domestic resources and their efficient
utilization are the two major policy oriented focuses today . National
savings are very very  important to help maintain a higher level of investment as savings
turn into investments which is a key determinant for economic uplift and prosperity of a nation.

Current saving rate in Pakistan(as a percentage of GDP) is 14% which is one of the lowest in the world. It should be at least 20%
for long term sustainable growth.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Suzuki Pakistan prices

Pak Suzuki Motor company Ltd. increased price of all its models.

New prices excluding taxes are as follows:

Model                      New Price          Increase                
Mehran VX              505,000/-             10,000
Mehran VXR            557,000/-             10,000
Mehran VX CNG      575,000 /-            19,000
Mehran VXR CNG    625,000/-             19,000 
Bolan VX                 584,000/-             10,000       
Bolan VXR               643,000/-             10,000
Bolan VX CNG         660,000/-             19,000
Bolan VXR CNG       721,000/-             19,000
Cargo Van              560,000/-             10,000
Ravi                        532,000/-             10,000 
Ravi CNG                605,000 /-            19,000
Cultus                    925,000/-             20,000
Cultus CNG            985,000/-             27,000
Alto                        727,000/-             17,000     
Alto CNG                791,000/-             22,000
Liana RXI            13,32,000/-            100,000
Liana RXI CNG    14,01,000/-            100,000
Swift DX              10,50,000/-             25,000
Swift DLX            11,50,000/-             25,000  

All prices are in Pak Rupees.
Cars made by Pak Suzuki Motors are the highest sold among other companies in the country. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Smoking in Pakistan

Though there is no promotional campaign by cigarette producing companies but still attraction for cigarettes remained stable as Pakistanis burned around Rs200 billion on smoking in the year 2011.
This startling cigarette production figures, provided by the SBP in its latest statistical report, show the number of cigarettes produced in the fiscal 2011 increased over last year of 2010.
These figures do not show complete production figures because a number of unregistered factories across the country produce low-grade cigarettes with cheaper selling prices.
SBP said that cigarettes produced fwere 65.40 billion during the 2010-11 financial year.
If the average price of one cigarette is Rs 3.00 (as prices fluctuate between Rs2.50 and Rs5), the cost of 66 billion cigarettes comes to around Rs 200 billion.
Average prices of the most popular brands range between Rs3.5 and Rs5.
It is surprising that the consumption of cigarettes has been rising even in the absence of advertising and despite a statutory warning on packets. It has also been observed that a number of substitutes for cigarettes, though prohibited, are available and doing a roaring business.
The Bank reported that the highest production of 76 billion cigarettes was recorded in 2009, while it was 65.30 billion in 2010 and 65.40 billion in 2011.The report does not mention the exact number of unregistered factories in the country and the number of unbranded cigarettes they are producing.
According to sellers, low-priced cigarettes are mostly produced in tribal belt of KP.
These cigarettes are not supplied to big cities like Karachi, but fake branded cigarettes produced by unregistered factories are available there.
The economy of cigarettes appears to be much higher than the figures provided by the SBP because it does not include several imported or smuggled brands of cigarettes.
The prices of imported cigarettes are usually 100 to 200% higher than the popular brands produced locally.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wind energy in Pakistan

Federal Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar on Wednesday claimed that the govt has set a target of 1500 megawatt  power generation from wind  energy by the year 2013 and procedures have been simplified for investors in order to achieve this ambitious but achievable target. 

While presiding over 22nd meeting of board of directors of Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), Naveed said that the investors will get land lease in the wind corridor without any delay after completing the basic formalities.

He said that as the govt has announced upfront tariff for wind power projects, the upfront tariff would also be announced for coal and solar power generation to get cheaper electricity and to meet the future requirements of the nation. 

He further told that about 100 MW wind project in the construction phase in Sindh province. The AEDB is facilitating the investors and providing all assistance to them. The meeting approved various cases of wind power projects. AEDB is managing the Asian Development Bank’s Renewable Energy Development Sector Investment Program . Under this programme three projects of different capacities , (56.2 MW) in KP, 5 in Punjab (24.04 MW) and 2 projects (30 MW) in Gilgit Baltistan are under different stages of implementation.

He further added that Pakistan has wind power generation potential of more than 300,000 MW, which needs to be explored. It was informed that three Gorges Corporation of China has started construction of about 50 MW wind project, while Zorlu Energy of Turkey has completed all the formalities for their project. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gas production

Natural gas has become the topic of the day as it has also become a scarce commodity now. We are witnessing strong agitation against cut in gas supply. Reason behind its load shedding is demand and supply gap which has worsened due to ill planning , inefficiency and corruption of the present government. 

Production of gas in Pakistan is 4 billion cubic feet per day and the demand is about 6 billion cubic feet.
There is shortfall of about 2 billion cubic feet per day. This gap will remain in the winter due to higher demand but it will also continue ahead as demand for energy is always increasing. There is almost no project in pipeline except a few smaller ones by OGDC, PPL, POL, MARI GAS and MOL by about 200 million cubic feet at maximum in 2012.

I am unable to understand that govt can get gas from Qatar very easily and it can made available in a period of less than a year but so serious effort has been made so far by the govt in the last four years of tenure.
Similarly Pak Iran gas pipeline which is half built on the Iranian side is not being pursued due to American pressure and the govt is not bold enough to face any pressure while no serious effort again has been made on Pak Turkmenistan gas pipeline.

Oil production of Pakistan

Production of crude oil in Pakistan is just 68 thousand barrels per day which
meets just the 15% of the demand in the country . Total demand of oil is  453
thousand barrels per day while about 375 thousand barrels is imported which
exerts very high pressure on foreign reserves and rupee dollar parity. On the other hand
gas production is about four billion cubic feet per day which is also less to meet current
demand of six billion cubic feet.

Govt has recently announced new petroleum policy to encourage oil and exploration and
production in the country which was welcomed by the exploration companies.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Rescue 1122

Rescue 1122 saved 388,515 emergency victims in Punjab province during the last year 2011 in 367,054 operations maintaining its average response time of less than seven minutes.

Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) Director General Dr. Rizwan Naseer reviewed the performance of Rescue 1122. The data reveals that the service rescued 388,515 emergency victims in 2011, while 369,560 emergency victims in the year 2010. 

The emergency calls to which Rescue 1122 responded in the past year include 144,271 road accidents, 194,009 medical related emergencies, 8,361 fire incidents, 17,281 crime incidents, 1,009 drowning cases, 820 building collapse incidents, 170 explosions and 1,136 special rescue operations.

Petrol prices in Pakistan

The federal govt has  increased petrol price by Rs 8 per litre, Hi-Octane by 
Rs 5.13 per litre while price of High Speed Diesel will be lowered by 
Rs 0.10 per litre( which is very nominal)
 in order to maintain the prices of kerosene oil and Light Diesel Oil. 

Apart from this govt has also increased the prices of CNG by Rs. 8.50.
New price of CNG is now RS. 88 per kg.
New petrol price is Rs. 103 per litre. 
Rupee devaluation has the biggest effect on petrol and other related
petroleum product prices.
The govt has decided to cut all subsidies on petroleum, gas and 
electricity due to financial problems and high budget deficits thus we 
can expect further increase in CPI inflation due to increase in these 
essential commodities and basic necessities of life.

LPG prices

Current price of LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas):

The marketing companies in the country dealing with LPG increased the price by Rs 10 to 15/Kg by raising the price of domestic cylinder from Rs 120 to Rs 170 and commercial cylinder from Rs 480 to Rs 680.
Chairman of All Pakistan LPG Association M.Irfan Khokhar told APP that the price of gas in Gilgit-Baltistan, FATA, Hazara, Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir and Swat valley areas would be Rs 160 to Rs 175 per kg and the domestic cylinder would be available at Rs 1870 to Rs 2050.
The LPG would be available at Rs 145 to Rs 155 per kg in Twin cities and Murree Hills and the domestic cylinder would cost Rs 1690 to Rs 1810.
In Lahore, Gujrat, Sialkot, Sahiwal, Khanewal, Kasur, Sargodha regions,  the  prices would be Rs 125 to Rs 135 per kg and the domestic cylinder would be sold at Rs 1450 to Rs 1570.
LPG in Peshawar, Rahim Yar Khan, Dera Ismail Khan and Sukkar would cost Rs 135 to Rs 145 per kg and the domestic cylinder would be at Rs 1570 to RS 1690/-.
While in Bahawalpur, Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan and Faisalabad the price of LPG would be Rs 130 to Rs 140 per kg and in Karachi the gas would be available at RS 115 to RS 125/ kg.