ISLAMABAD   -   Pakistan’s oil imports have reduced by over 26 percent that helped to decrease the overall imports by a one-fifth in first couple of months of the current fiscal year.

The country’s had spent $1.935 billion on importing oil in July and August period of the year 2019-2020 as compared to $2.642 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year, according to the trade figures released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The massive reduction in oil imports had helped in reducing overall imports of the country. Pakistan’s imports had dropped by 21.4 percent to $7.7 billion during the period under review.

The PBS data showed that the import of petroleum products had shown decline of 16.42 percent to $897 million. Similarly, import of petroleum crude had reduced by over 55 percent to $396 million. Meanwhile, imports of natural gas liquefied had also recorded decline in the period under review. However, imports of petroleum gas liquefied had shown increase of around 40 percent and were recorded at $41.94 billion.

Apart from oil imports, the imports in transport group, textile and food groups had also recorded decline in first two months of the current fiscal year. Food imports had contracted 26.81 percent to $697.3 million during July-August period of 2019-20, from $952.7 billion in corresponding months last year.

This decline was largely due to a 40 percent fall in the value of milk, cream and milk food for infants. Similarly, imports of transport group had posted a 35.93 percent decline, with decrease in imported value of almost all subcategories. On the other hand, agriculture imports inched down by 23.31 percent to $1.23 billion in July August period of the current fiscal year from $1.61 billion in the same period of last year.

According to PBS figures, Pakistan’s exports in August 2019 stood at $1.859 billion as compared to $2.013 billion of August 2018, which shows a reduction of 7.65 percent.  However, during July-August 2019, Pakistan’s exports remained $3.753 billion against $ 3.651 billion during the corresponding period of last year, showing an increase of 2.79 percent. The country’s textile exports had remained at the same level of previous year showing no major 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.

Textile exports were recorded at $2.3 billion during July and August of the ongoing fiscal year. In textile sector, according to PBS, exports of knitwear had enhanced by 12.84 percent.

Similarly, exports of bedwear had also recorded an increase of 1.22 percent and exports of raw cotton had gone up by 152 percent. Meanwhile, exports of yarn had also surged by 44.95 percent. The PBS data showed that exports of cotton cloth had recorded a decline of 6.36 percent. Similarly, exports of cotton yarn had tumbled by 7.76 percent.

Exports of tents, canvas and tarpaulin witnessed decrease of 4.23 percent. Meanwhile, exports of made-up articles(excluding towels and bedwear had declined by 7.66 percent.

Meanwhile, the exports of food commodities had recorded an increase of 14.27 percent during first two months of the current fiscal year.

In food commodities, exports of rice recorded growth of 48.64 percent, fruits exports increased by 23.09 percent and oil seeds, nuts and kernels exports had gone down by 11.23 percent.