The first ship, carrying 55,000 tons of wheat, has departed from Russia and is expected to reach Karachi Port on September 8, followed by a second ship, scheduled to arrive in Pakistan on September 14.
Importers have confirmed that 400,000 tons of wheat have already been purchased. The private sector is anticipated to import a total of 0.9 million tons, most of which will be used in Karachi, where flour mills are having difficulty procuring wheat. Local rates are predicted to increase further in the upcoming days and weeks.
It is worth mentioning that local media previously reported the arrival of a Russian vessel carrying privately imported wheat. Despite widespread reporting, the news was inaccurately conveyed. According to our conversations with members of the trading community, the misinformation was disseminated to stabilize market prices, but as ProPakistani reported earlier, the strategy was unsuccessful.
Furthermore, the recent import order is not expected to impact the wheat flour prices, which have surged by nearly 130 percent year-on-year, as the deficit in flour mill stocks greatly exceeds the quantity of wheat the government plans to import.
Several flour mills have been implicated in wheat speculation and have made concerted efforts to undermine private imports, but to no avail. The interim federal government has steadfastly resisted all forms of pressure and ill-advised counsel to ensure food security for its citizens.
Law enforcement agencies have begun assembling a new list of flour mill owners and hoarders from Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalnagar who are engaged in illegal wheat trafficking.
Evidence indicates that these individuals, wielding influence at both federal and provincial government levels, intended to disrupt wheat imports through a handful of cabinet members.
The same individuals were also implicated in artificially inflating wheat prices in the market. Consequently, Secretary Food Punjab, Zaman Vito, dismissed District Food Controller Rawalpindi, Sufian Awan, citing allegations of corruption and misuse of authority.