ISLAMABAD: While the overall imports declined during the year 2018-19, the country’s oil import went up slightly by 0.08 per cent year-on-year to $14.44 billion, reveals data compiled by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
The analysis of the data suggests that all the groups including food group, machinery group, petroleum good, consumer durables and raw materials have witnessed hefty decline in imports during the outgoing fiscal year.
The PBS data showed the overall import bill declined by 9.86pc year-on-year to $54.79bn.
Imports declined mainly because of decrease in arrival of furnace oil, machinery & electric equipment, palm oil and textiles. The imports further squeezed owing to falling global demand, weakening consumer and business sentiment among the major economies, trade tensions and economic stabilisation measures at home.
Product-wise data showed that petroleum group imports rose 0.08pc, to $14.44bn during the 2018-19, with the largest surge coming from crude oil, up 8.07pc in value. However, a 13.22pc decline was recorded in terms of the total quantity imported bringing the total down to 9.02 million tonnes.
The cost of petroleum products’ imports dipped 15.95pc during the 12 months, whereas a 30.89pc decline was recorded in terms of the total quantity imported; bringing the total down to 10.4 million tonnes.
On the other hand, liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports soared 35.96pc as its value reached $3.33bn during the year under review. However, the import of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) plunged 7.52pc year-on-year to $34.06m.
Machinery imports plunged 22.89pc to $8.92bn from $11.56bn last year led by shrinking textile machinery-related imports and power generating machinery at 1.06pc and 52.59pc, respectively. Early harvest of CPEC projects and cut in PSDP spending contributed to the low machinery import bill.
The telecommunication group recorded imports declining by 10.7pc to $1.37bn in 2018-19. The import of mobile handsets decreased by 10.87pc the outgoing fiscal year. Import duties on mobile sets contributed to this positive development. Import of the other apparatus also decreased by 9.08pc.
The agriculture machinery, however, posted a growth of 8.7pc in the outgoing fiscal year. This seems to be on account of the government’s initiatives to enhance agriculture production under Prime Minister Agriculture Emergency Plan.
Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2019