Pakistan’s produce trade believes it has the chance to capitalise on Europe’s exile from Russia and secure large orders from Russia this season.
Pakistan’s fresh produce exporters association, the PFVA, told The Express Tribune it had “chalked out a strategy” to increase exports to the Russian market, which is in search of alternative import sources for fruit and vegetables worth some US$2bn since banning agricultural products from the EU and the US in August.
Pakistan, which exports primarily kinnow mandarins and potatoes to Russia, wants to capture a 5-10 per cent share of its fresh produce market, the PFVA said.
“We look forward to having an upward trend in the coming season due to the ban on Europe,” Waheed Ahmed, spokesman for Pakistan’s Fruit and Vegetable association (PFVA), told Fruitnet. “Exporters hope to capitalise on this opportunity and win a substantial share of the market.”
Pakistan expects to see a significant rise in its kinnow mandarin shipments to Russia this season as a direct result of the EU ban, said Ahmed.
“We definitely expect to increase our kinnow export there by 15-20 per cent compared to last season, but this will also depend on our local production.”
Pakistan has set a kinnow export target of around 300,000 tonnes (out of a potential 2m-tonne crop) this season, similar to last year, said Ahmed.
However the Punjab province has been badly affected by floods, the effects of which on crop quality and quantity remain to be seen.
“The true picture will come in November,” said Ahmed, adding that kinnow exports will start on 1 December.
“The recent floods and coming climate conditions could possibly affect exports,” he added. “It is rather too early to say, but we do expect a good season for Pakistani kinnow exports this year.”