Belarus cuts down tractors' prices for Pakistan

By Tanveer Ahmed

KARACHI: Belarus has cut down the price of its manufactured tractors exporting to Pakistan, Daily Times learnt on Saturday.

Minks Tractor Works (MTW), a subsidiary of Ministry of Industries of Republic of Belarus, has decreased the price of two models - Belarus 510 and Belarus 520 - for export to Pakistan.

The price of Belarus 510 model has been tagged at $8,545 per unit from $9,100 and the price of 520 model at $8,645 per unit from $9,200.

The downward revision in the price of these tractors has been made due to current economic situation and availability of cheaper raw materials. "Belarus has been trying to recapture its lost market," an official of a tractor manufacturing pointed out.

M Yaseen, Director at GM Tractors, told Daily Times that in the past years the price of Belarus made MTW tractors went up sharply because of high priced units, which refrained the local importers to buy these expensive tractors.

The price shoot up to as high as $14,800 per unit in October 2008, which gradually started declining as first the prices were slashed down to $12,800 per unit and then to $10,000 per unit.

However, even this reduction was unable to increase demand, which compelled the manufacturers to cut it down further.

Yaseen noted that this price is still too high when compared with the locally manufactured tractors, which cost average Rs 450,000 per unit against the imported ones at Rs 820,000. He said that the volume of tractor import from Belarus went down sharply in the past years and only 7000 units were imported in 2007 over 10,000 to 12,000 a year ago.

"The import has started picking up to some extent with the successive cuts in the price of Belarus tractors," Yaseen felt, however, he added that only a major cut in future can bring parity in both the local and imported prices.

About the high price of locally manufactured tractors, he said that in view of high cost of raw materials and utilities, it deems impossible for the local units to make any downward revision in their prices.

Recently, the Economic Coordination Committee has approved Benazir tractor scheme in which 20,000 tractors would be provided to land owning farmers on subsidised rates.

The local productions of tractors during seven months of current financial year stand at 31,545 while the sales were recorded at 31,997 units. The trade turnover between Belarus and Pakistan exceeded $62 milion last year. Belarus exported tractors, filament yarns and tires and imports clothes, cotton fabric, rice and other foodstuffs from Pakistan.



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