ISLAMABAD   -  Pakistan’s oil import bill went up to $13.14 billion during eleven months (July to May) of the ongoing fiscal year.

The country’s oil import bill has gone up by 1.6 percent to $13.14 billion during July to May period of the year 2018-19. However, Pakistan’s overall imports have declined by 8.5 percent due to the government’s policies. The country has imported goods worth of $50.5 billion during July to May period of the year 2018-2019 as against $55.14 billion in the same period of last year.

According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the import of petroleum products was recorded at $5.6 billion, petroleum crude at $4.19 billion and natural gas liquefied at $3.05 billion and petroleum gas liquefied at $239 million. Oil import bill is the major component of the overall import bill, which declined the country’s foreign exchange reserves. However, the country had already finalized defer oil payment facility with Saudi Arabia and Islamic Development Bank to avert pressure on foreign exchange reserves. The oil facility provided by Saudi Arabia worth $3.2 billion per year for three years would become operational on July 1. Similarly, the Islamic Development Bank had also provided $1.2 billion deferred oil facility to Pakistan.

Apart from the oil, import of all other sectors has declined during eleven months of the current fiscal year. Food imports contracted 8.44 percent to $5.23 billion during July-May 2018-19, from $5.72 billion in corresponding months last year. This decline was largely due to a 9.66 percent fall in the value of palm oil, which decreased to $1.71 billion in the period under review from previous year.

Import bill of the machinery clocked in at $8.26 billion during the eleven months, lower by 22.22 percent, from $10.62 billion in same period last year. The biggest contributor to the decrease was power generating machinery, which plunged by 52.1 percent, followed by 38.74 percent contraction in construction and 8.57 percent in telecom. Similarly, transport group, another major contributor to the trade deficit, also receded during July-May period of the current fiscal year as it posted a 24.83 percent decline, with decrease in imported value of almost all subcategories. On the other hand, agriculture imports inched down by 0.64 percent to $8.08 billion from $8.14 billion on the back of 3.3 percent decrease in fertiliser.

According to the PBS data, Pakistan has imported goods worth of $50.5 billion during July to May period of the year 2018-2019 as against $55.14 billion in the same period of last year. Similarly, the exports have also shown decline, though minor 0.30 percent. Exports have recorded at $21.27 billion during eleven months of the current financial year. The country’s trade deficit has recorded at $29.21 billion during July to May period of the current fiscal year as compared to $33.81 billion of the corresponding period of the previous year showing decline of 13.62 percent.

Pakistan’s textile exports were recorded at $12.32 billion during eleven 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 8.84 percent during July to May period of the year 2018-19 over a year ago. Similarly, exports of bed wear had also recorded an increase of 1.6 percent and exports of made-up articles had gone up by 0.55 percent. Meanwhile, exports of ready-made garments had also surged by 4.16 percent in first eleven months of the current financial year. The PBS data showed that exports of cotton cloth had recorded a decline of 3.65 percent. Similarly, exports of raw cotton had tumbled by 67.19 percent. Exports of cotton yarn witnessed decrease of 16.01 percent. Meanwhile, exports of towels had declined by 0.79 percent.

Meanwhile, the exports of food commodities had recorded decrease of 4.61 percent during first eleven months of the current fiscal year. In food commodities, exports of fruits recorded growth of 4.34 percent, vegetables exports declined by 3.37 percent and oil seeds, nuts and kernels exports had gone up by 101 percent. Similarly, the exports of petroleum group and coal had enhanced by 19.76 percent during July to May period of the ongoing fiscal year.