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Karachi, Goods worth billions sink in floods

relief goodsKARACHI: Goods suppliers in Karachi said their supplies worth billions of rupees sunk in the flood while trade has come to the lowest level as also reflected from the fall in oil sales by 24 per cent.

“The goods we have supplied mostly to the interior of Sindh have sunk in the flood and we have no hope of recovery,” said Sohail Afzal, an electronic goods supplier in Karachi.

Goods suppliers said they have lost billions and there is no chance of return since floods have washed away entire markets and assets of thousands of traders in various parts of Sindh.

Sindh is the biggest victim of the flood water which is still devastating people and their assets in the different parts of the province.

Afzal said so far no calculation has been made by any organisation whether private or government, to calculate the losses of traders and goods suppliers.

He said that 80 per cent goods, including electronics, hardware, steel and other metal products and other products used in daily life are supplied from Karachi.

“No one has asked us to calculate our losses, even Karachi-based trade organisations are yet to collect initial data of losses and the reason is that there is no hope of recovery,” said Afzal.

On the other hand, trade with different parts of Sindh has come down to the lowest level which is again a loss to traders.

The situation is also reflected by the fall of oil consumption in the country as reported by a brokerage house analyst.

“Oil sales for August 2010 have dipped 24 per cent on a month-on-month basis and year-on-year basis,” said Atif Zafar, an analyst at JS Research.

The report further said high speed diesel (HSD) sale declined by 37 per cent on year-on-year followed by furnace oil (FO) sales down 21 per cent.

Atif reported that recent devastating floods in the country kept oil sales depressed during August 2010. FO sales which have been a primary growth determinant in recent times for the industry, witnessed a decline of 21 per cent, led by the supply to power plants following logistical issues caused by the floods.

Moreover, with agricultural activity coming to a standstill in those areas, HSD sales fell by 37 per cent.

Aamir Aziz, an exporter and supplier of finished textile products in the local markets said their supply to different parts of Sindh and Punjab was hurt due to floods despite Eid season.

He said Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad are the only cities where supplies remained normal, like previous Eid seasons. He said millions of rupees were spent by charity organisations to buy clothes for flood victims which helped the industry receive demands.

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