Pakistani kinnow exports have fallen significantly short of the industry’s pre-season goals, a combination of market access troubles and difficulties with the country’s customs authorities, according to industry figures.
As the season closed, exports were some way short of 200,000 tonnes, reported Pakistan’s Daily Times, short of the target of 300,000 tonnes. The increased export goal was spurred on by the bumper total Pakistani kinnow crop of around 2.5m tonnes.
Long-running issues with Pakistani customs authorities, which have been accused of mishandling and damaging kinnow shipments, have had a big part in the lack of movement, according to Abdul Wahid, former chairman of industry body the All Pakistan Vegetable and Fruit Exporters Association.
Wahid said the government had failed to fix the problems, which beyond customs issues also included the closure of the key Iranian market to Pakistani kinnow shipments.
The industry had also been hoping for the Indonesian market to take off following the signing of a preferential trade agreement (PTA) between the two countries in January, which will drop Indonesia’s tariff on Pakistani kinnow to zero. Ratification of the deal is not expected until 1 May, however.
The challenges haven’t stopped Pakistani kinnow exporters’ own market development efforts. The industry distributed a special 800kg consignment of kinnows in Indonesia to ministers, senior officials, celebrities and media in an effort to spread awareness of the fruit.