According to local media on Tuesday, which cited the Pakistani ministry of food security, two cargo ships carrying 300,000 metric tonnes of Russian wheat had docked at a port in Karachi, Pakistan, in the country’s south.
The government is having difficulty balancing the supply and demand of wheat as a result of the worsening macroeconomic situation in the South Asian nation, which has been experiencing one of the worst wheat crises in recent memory.
Currency depreciation and decades-high inflation have made the situation worse in Pakistan, where the country’s foreign exchange reserves have decreased to an eight-year low and are barely enough to pay three weeks’ worth of imports.
To top it all off, the devastating flood that hit Pakistan last summer washed away large swathes of agricultural land, forcing the South Asian country to import wheat from Russia and other countries.
“Two cargo ships carrying 300,000 tons of wheat, the first consignment from Russia, docked at Port Qasim on Monday,” Pakistan’s Geo News channel reported, citing the ministry of food security.
“The remaining 400,000 tons of the total 700,000 tons of Russian wheat will reach Gwadar port by March 30.”
The idea to purchase wheat from the Russian government was approved by the country’s Economic Coordination Committee, which is led by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, in November of last year.
Residents of Quetta, a city in southwest Pakistan, protested a delay in the distribution of subsidized flour on Monday by blocking a major highway amid a spike in grain prices.
In the meantime, a man lost his life last week when a stampede occurred in the Sindh province’s Mirpurkhas area as throngs of customers rushed to buy subsidized wheat from mini trucks.
On Tuesday, the Sindh government declared that 64 locations in Karachi will henceforth sell flour at reduced prices.