ISLAMABAD – Food Imports decreased by 6.35 per cent during the first quarter of the current fiscal year as compared to the corresponding period of last year.

The over all imports of food group were recorded at $1.179 billion  during July-September (2012-13) against the imports of US$1.259 billion in July-September (2011-12), according to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The products that witnessed decrease in trade included sugar, imports of which fell from US$6.671 million last year to US$1.641 million.  Similarly, the imports of spices and tea decreased by 26.30 per cent and 19.47 per cent respectively, the PBS data revealed.

The imports of spices were recorded at US$19.118 million against theimports of US$25.939 million while the imports of tea were recorded at US$68.549 million against the imports of US$85.119 million.  Imports of dry fruits and nuts decreased from US$21.068 million last year to US$1.938 million, showing negative growth of 2.60 per cent.

Palm oil imports also decreased by 10.34 per cent during the period under review by going down from US$653.603 million to US$586.021 million while the imports of all other food products witnessed negative growth of by 3.28 per cent by declining from US$289.933 million to US$280.424 million.

The food products that witnessed positive growth in trade included milk, cream and milk food for infants, imports of which increased by 9.87 per cent by going up from US$ 40.315 million to US$44.293 million. Imports of soyabean oil increased from US$26.457 million to US$37.208million, showing growth of 40.64 per cent. Imports of pulses (leguminous vegetables) increased by 10.33 per cent by going up from US$110.401 million last year to US$121.806 million.

It is pertinent to mention here that the overall exports from the country witnessed positive growth of 4.26 per cent while the imports decreased by 2.37 per cent during the first quarter of the current fiscal year, indicating a positive trends in the overall trade volume of the country.

Exports from the country during July-September (2012-13) were recordedat US$6.187 billion against the exports of US$5.934 billion during the same period of last year. On the other hand, the imports into the country decreased from US$11.117 billion last year to US$10.853 billion during the current fiscal year, the data revealed.

Based on these figures, the overall trade deficit has been recorded at 9.9 per cent as it shrunk reduced from the deficit of US$5.183 billion last year to US$4.666 this year.