Pakistani Kinnow mandarin exporters have already outdone last season’s volume by 4.5% and are expected to keep output going through to next month, newspaper Pakistan Today reported.
The story reported the industry had already shipped 350,000 metric tons (MT) of the fruit, which is higher than the 325,000MT target set by the All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA).
The group had set a less ambitious goal due to high production costs and tough competition from nations like Turkey and Morocco, the story reported.
“As the exports are likely to continue till April, it is expected that by the close of the season, the exports will touch 375,000 to 400,000 tonnes, which would represent an increase of 12% to 16% as compared to the previous year,” Pakistan Horticulture Development & Export Company (PHDEC) acting chief executive officer Muhammad Ashraf was quoted as saying.
Ashraf however expressed his disappointed to the publication that production levels around the 2.1 million MT mark have stayed the same over the past two seasons.
The story reported the leading export destinations for the fruit were Afghanistan, Russia, Indonesia and UAE, but access to the high-potential Irani market was still out of reach.
“If Iran issues import permits for Pakistani exporters, we could cater to the Iranian market that has an export potential of 70,000 to 80,000 tonnes,” fruit exporter Waheed Ahmed told the publication.