KARACHI: Rice exporters are expressing serious concerns over the rapid increase in charges by shipping companies.
Sources said that shipping lines have started taking twice the freight charges from rice exporters during the peak exports season.
Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) acting Chairman Chela Ram has said that shipping companies have doubled the charges for Mombasa from $3 to $6 and for China from $2 to $4 per container. He added that 50,000 tonnes of rice is to be exported to China while 25,000 tonnes rice to Mombasa during next three months. If the freight charges remain high, subsequently exporters will be the ones to bear extra costs and financial losses which is injustice to them.
He said that shipping companies have abruptly increased their charges after the exporters have made contracts with foreign buyers, which will hamper exports activities in the next three months in particular. December, January and February are the peak months for rice exports from Pakistan.
Rice exporters in the country are hesitant in making any new contract with foreign buyers due to no fixed shipping charge system in Pakistan, Chela Ram said. He demanded from the government to introduce a fixed shipping charges system for at least the period of 3 months.