PM Shehbaz wants to import wheat from Russia

State Minister Hina clarifies US and EU sanctions not applicable on food items

Zafar Bhutta June 09, 2022


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has laid stress on importing wheat from Russia amid the US sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

The prime minister has also directed the authorities to engage China to offer discounts on a urea import deal on a government-to-government (G2G) basis.

China had offered urea import on deferred payment at 4.35% per annum which comes to around $2.175 per tonne each month.

During a discussion in a recent cabinet meeting, the prime minister emphasised that the import of wheat from Russia must be on a G2G basis and it should be ensured that the quality of this crop being consumed in Pakistan was of good standard.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar clarified that the US and EU sanctions were not applicable on food items and the talks with Russian authorities on wheat import were on a G2G basis.

Read FO doesn’t rule out oil, wheat import from Russia

She also informed the participants of the meeting that as these were not UN sanctions, which were binding, the follow-up on the previous government's claim that Russia had also agreed to supply fuel oil at 30% cheaper price was made but no response was received.

On the import of urea on a G2G basis, PM Shehbaz directed the industries and production secretary to engage with the Chinese authorities and try to negotiate a possible discount.

Earlier, the industries and production ministry informed the cabinet that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in its meeting held on May 16, had allowed the import of 200,000 tonnes on a G2G basis with the stipulation that the procurement shall be made on deferred payment basis.

Later, the federal cabinet gave the nod to the decision.

The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) informed the meeting that pursuant to the directions of the ECC for import of 200,000 tonnes of fertiliser, it had approached Chinese state-owned enterprises for quotes on supply of granular urea.

Read more Country likely to import 4.62m MT of wheat to meet shortfall

CNAMPGC, a Chinese SOE, offered supply of 200,000 tonnes of granular urea at the rate of $600 per tonne freight on board for shipment from June to September this year.

It was informed that the deferred payment rate that was being offered was 4.35% per annum which came to around $2.175 per tonne each month.

Therefore the freight on board cost would total to around $606.525 per tonne on a three-month deferred payment basis.

The TCP chairman had indicated to the ECC that if the Chinese government gave its consent in the coming week, the landing of urea in Pakistan could commence from the middle of July.

The industries and production ministry had requested the ECC to allow TCP to Import 200,000 tonnes of granular urea from China on G2G basis on a deferred payment basis and to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the counterpart Chinese agency.

The maritime affairs ministry shall ensure priority berthing for the cargo. The Pakistan National Shipping Corporation will ship the cargo to Pakistan at the best possible rates and shortest time frame. The foreign ministry would ensure that the approvals from the Chinese government were solicited on priority basis to ensure arrival of the consignment in Pakistan at the earliest.

The ministries of industries, commerce and foreign affairs would ensure effective coordination for ensuring priority clearance required from the Chinese government and earliest arrival of the cargo in Pakistan.


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