Over 15 flourmills closed in Sindh
KARACHI: Pakistan Flour Mills Association (Sindh Chapter) has reported the closure of about 15 flourmills in Sindh by Saturday due to ongoing wheel jam strike by goods transporters in Pakistan, said an office bearer.
“Owners of about 10 percent flourmills in Sindh have suspended operations till Saturday,” Muhammad Yousuf, chairman of Pakistan Flour Mills Association (Sindh Chapter), said, adding there are about 175 flourmills operating in the province.
He said that many of the mills in the province were operating on imported wheat, while goods transporters’ strike which completed 11th day on Saturday forced some of them to close down their operations.
The long strike paralysed completely the transportation of import and export of goods from ports to factories and vice versa. “The same situation resulted into the blockage of imported wheat at ports in Karachi. And non availability of the imported wheat forced numerous millers to suspend their operations,” he said. “If the strike continues operations in another 25 to 26 mills will come to a halt on Monday,” he said. “The strike was also causing demurrages at ports.”
He said that the Sindh government had been supplying only 35 percent wheat of the total need at a fixed price of Rs34.50 per kilogramme since mid of August. Millers are buying 65 percent wheat from wholesale markets.
Wheat produced locally was available at Rs36 36.50 per kilogramme at wholesale markets, he said. “The monthly consumption of flour wheat alone in Karachi stands at 1.9 to two million bags (of 100 kilogramme each),” he said.
According to a wholesaler, the imported wheat was available above Rs35 per kilogramme before the strike began, while the wheat was also available at 15 30 days credit as well.
Traders have so far imported around 400,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia and Ukraine sin Skechers Outlet ce September, while they planned to import about 500,000 tonnes by December, a source said, adding they might import about one million tonnes by March 2014. Traders were importing wheat keeping in view the exp Skechers Outlet ected shortage of the grain during the ongoing year. “The country’s tot Skechers Outlet al annual wheat consumption stands somewhere at 24 million tonnes, while it has produced about 23.3 million tonnes for the ongoing year,” said an official.
Yousuf Skechers Outlet said that if the strike continued and millers were not provided imported wheat than the price of the flour might go up in the province. “At present, mills are selling flour at the government fixed rate of Rs39.50 per kilogramme to retailers.”
“We will not take the government into confidence before increasing the price, but will do it at our own will,” he said, adding that if the government wants to stabilise the flour price then it should resolve the transportation issues.