High sea freight cost affecting kinnow export 

By: News Desk      Published: 12:18 AM, 1 Dec, 2021
High sea freight cost affecting kinnow export 

A significant increase in sea freight cost and climate change brought down the production of kinnow emerging as a barrier to export this year.

The exporters of kinnow are in a state of uncertainty and export during the current season is likely to be limited to 300,000 tons with an anticipated decrease by 35% compared to the previous year. According to Waheed Ahmed, the Patron-in-Chief, All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA), the exporters of kinnow are in a state of uncertainty during the current season of kinnow

As of now, large-scale   preparation for export of kinnow has not yet started, although the season is due to commence shortly from December 1, 2021.  A few kinnow factories in Sargodha are making preparations for the export. The export of kinnow faces stiff challenges due to the exorbitant increase in cost of sea freight.  Last year, the export of kinnow was 450,000 ton against the export target of 350,000 ton.  

It is anticipated that the export of kinnow will remain around 300,000 ton during the current season, 35% less compared to last year.  Due to the crisis of high sea freight cost this year, the export of kinnow from Pakistan is likely to badly suffer to the international markets of Russia, Canada, Ukraine, Indonesia, and Philippines, since Pakistan exports 50% of total; export volume of kinnow to these countries.

The cost of sea freight to Russia, an important international market, during the previous season was $ 2500-3000 per container which has now been enhanced to $7,000 per container.  Similarly, the sea freight cost to the Philippines, Indonesia which was $2000 has now increased to $5,000. Simultaneously, with an exorbitant increase in the cost of sea freight, the shipping companies do not have any definite schedule. 

Due to the perishable nature of fruits and short shelf-life, there is no guarantee that the fruit consignments would reach their destinations in time. Under the prevailing circumstances, the cost of export as well as uncertain situations from shipping lines, the export of kinnow from Pakistan is likely to be badly hit, Waheed Ahmed deplored.

Waheed Ahmed further explained that Pakistani kinnow used to be sold in the Russian market being cheap compared to kinnow from Morocco and Turkey.  He said that under these circumstances, the land routes can be a better alternative to export Pakistani kinnow via Iran and Central Asian states. 

He highlighted that Iran is a promising international market for Pakistani kinnow, however, his important market had been closed for the last 10 years due to non-issuance of import permit by the Iranian officials. Last year Iran issued import permits for a limited period and this year nothing has been done so far in this context.