Insight – Pakistan agrees to improve market access for grains, pulses and oilseeds

Between May and June 2021 Pakistan’s Department of Plant Protection agreed to on arrival devitalisation treatments of canola, methyl bromide fumigation for chickpeas and lentils, and phosphine fumigation for wheat.

These developments align Pakistan’s fumigation rates with Australia, Bangladesh and India which will improve market access, reduce costs and increase flexibility for Australian canola, chickpea and lentil exporters. The agreement to on arrival devitalisation treatments of canola will facilitate the first Australian canola exports to Pakistan since 2016-17.

These outcomes are the result of extensive negotiations with the Pakistani Government led by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment with support from the agricultural counsellor network, Austrade and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

What exporters should do

Improved market access and treatment arrangements provide Australian canola, chickpea and wheat exporters with additional, lower cost options. Australian exporters should consider assessing the commercial viability of the Pakistan market in 2021-22 under new arrangements.


Import requirements for canola, chickpeas, lentils and wheat to Pakistan are available through the Manual of Importing Country Requirements website.

Additional information about the Pakistan market is available on the Austrade website.

Market overview canola [1]

  • Pakistan was the world’s 9th largest canola importer in 2020.
  • Canada supplied 66% of Pakistan’s canola imports between 2010 and 2020. Since 2016, Canada has supplied 92% of Pakistan’s canola imports.
  • Between 2010 and 2015 Australia supplied 30% of Pakistan’s canola imports; however, Australia has not exported canola to Pakistan since 2017.

Market overview pulses [2]

  • In 2020, Pakistan was the world’s 5th largest importer of lentils and 2nd largest importer of chickpeas.
  • Between 2016 and 2020, Australia had a 39% share of the value of Pakistan chickpea imports and a 20% share of the value of Pakistan lentil imports.
  • Canada, Russia and the USA are Australia’s main competitors in the Pakistan pulse market.

Market overview wheat [3]

  • Pakistan wheat imports were very small averaging US$42,000 per year between 2010 to 2019.
  • Pakistan has historically been a small wheat importer; however, in 2020 Pakistan wheat imports increased substantially to US$660 million. This increase reflects wheat demand outpacing domestically supply and efforts by the Pakistan government to build wheat reserves.
  • Pakistan wheat imports in 2020 were supplied by Ukraine (46%), Russian (44%). Germany (8%) and Bulgaria (2%).
  • Australia has not exported wheat to Pakistan since 2011.


[1] Source: UNComtrade 2021

[2] Source: UNComtrade 2021

[3] Source: UNComtrade 2021