Report Highlights: 

In MY 2014/15, Pakistan’s wheat planting is likely to be impacted by improved water conditions. Pakistan is expected to import around 800,000 tons during the current marketing year. 

Pakistan’s MY 2013/14 rice production is reduced three percent from 6,200 tons to 6,000 tons due to flood damage in Punjab and Sindh provinces.

Wheat 

Increased Water Availability to Impact Wheat Planting 

Pakistan’s wheat planting will be impacted by improved water conditions. Wheat planting will commence around the middle of October, amid reports that the country’s major reservoirs, Mangla and Tarbela, are filled to capacity as a result of an above-average rainfall monsoon season. This is the first time in many years that all the major dams are filled to capacity, just in time for the rabi (winter season) crops. Furthermore, according to sources in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR), the government will soon announce the wheat procurement price in an effort to increase the number of farmers towards wheat production. The Government of Pakistan is the largest buyer of the domestic wheat production, with 5.6 million tons purchased this marketing year. 

Wheat Imports from the Black Sea Continue 

According to trade sources, during the current marketing year, Pakistan has so far booked 300,000 tons of wheat, of which 150,000 tons have arrived with the rest expected to land during the first week of October. Pakistan is expected to import around 800,000 tons during the marketing year. Almost all of the wheat has been sourced from the Black Sea at an average cost of $280/MT. Trade millers have raised concerns about the quality of wheat being imported and have demanded federal government to establish quality standards. Importers are also pressing the government to reduce the five-percent withholding tax on wheat imports, in an effort to reduce the cost of the imported grain, but it is unlikely that the cash-strapped government will follow through. 

Rice 

Pakistan’s MY 2013/14 rice production is reduced by three percent from 6,200 tons to 6,000 tons due to flood losses in Punjab and Sindh provinces. This is fourth year in a row that Pakistan’s rice crop is being affected by monsoon floods. Field reports suggest that this year’s flood damage pattern and spread is different from the last year, as most of the damage has occurred in Punjab. 

MY 2012/13 production is also adjusted downward from 5,600 tons to 5,400 tons due to greater-than-estimated flood damage in accordance to revised government figures; stocks have been adjusted accordingly. 

Production losses due to floods and gas/electricity shortages are affecting the pace of exports; nonetheless Pakistan is still expected to export around 3 million tons of rice during the current marketing year