ISLAMABAD  -    Pakistan’s oil import bill has gone up by 4 percent to $11.9 billion during ten months (July to April) of the current fiscal year.

The country’s oil import bill was recorded at $11.9 billion in July to April period of the year 2018-19 as compared to $11.4 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year, showing an increase of 4.01 percent. According to data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the import of petroleum products was recorded at $5.1 billion, petroleum crude at $3.8 billion and natural gas liquefied at $2.72 billion and petroleum gas liquefied at $222 million.

Import of all other major commodities recorded decline during the period under review. However, oil import has recorded increase due to increase in its prices at international market.

Meanwhile, the food imports contracted 9.85 percent to $4.7 billion during July-April 2018-19, from $5.22 billion in corresponding months last year. This decline was largely due to a 10.99pc fall in the value of palm oil, which decreased to $1.54 billion in the period under review from previous year.

Import bill of the machinery clocked in at $7.5 billion during the ten months, lower by 21.06 percent, from $9.5 billion in same period last year. The biggest contributor to the decrease was power generating machinery, which plunged by 52.03 percent, followed by 16.52 percent contraction in electrical and 8.64 percent in telecom. Similarly, transport group, another major contributor to the trade deficit, also receded during July-April period of the current fiscal year as it posted a 34.9 percent decline, with decrease in imported value of almost all subcategories. On the other hand, agriculture imports inched up by 2.14 percent to $7.37 billion from $7.22 billion on the back of 20.2 percent increase in fertiliser, 11.85 percent insecticides and 3.54 percent medicinal products.

According to the PBS, the country’s overall imports had decreased by 7.88 percent to $45.47 billion in July-April period of the year 2018-19 as compared to $49.36 billion in the same period of previous year. Meanwhile, the country’s exports had come down by 0.12 percent to $19.17 billion in ten months (July to April) of the ongoing fiscal year over the same period last year. The trade deficit had reduced by 12.82 percent to $26.3 billion in ten months of the current financial year from $30.17 billion in the same months of last year.

Pakistan’s textile exports were recorded at $11.13 billion during ten months (July to March) of the ongoing fiscal year. The country’s textile exports had remained at the same level of previous year showing no growth. The incumbent government had provided several incentives to the five exports oriented sectors including textile to enhance the country’s exports. The government had depreciated the currency and reduced the prices of electricity and gas but it failed to achieve the desired results.

In textile sector, according to PBS, exports of knitwear had enhanced by 8.76 percent during July to April period of the year 2018-19 over a year ago. Similarly, exports of bed wear had also recorded an increase of 2.4 percent and exports of made-up articles had gone up by 1.15 percent. Meanwhile, exports of ready-made garments had also surged by 3.21 percent in first ten months of the current financial year. The PBS data showed that exports of cotton cloth had recorded a decline of 2.7 percent. Similarly, exports of raw cotton had tumbled by 67.2 percent. Exports of cotton yarn witnessed n decrease of 15.78 percent. Meanwhile, exports of towels had declined by 1.39 percent.

Meanwhile, the exports of food commodities had recorded decrease of 4.13 percent during first ten months of the current fiscal year. In food commodities, exports of fruits recorded growth of 6.37 percent, vegetables exports declined by 1.18 percent and oil seeds, nuts and kernels exports had gone up by 109.52 percent.

Similarly, the exports of petroleum group and coal had enhanced by 24.44 percent during July to April period of the ongoing fiscal year.