ISLAMABAD: The oil import bill posted a hefty decline of over 26 per cent in the first two months of the current fiscal year from a year ago, showed data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
The data analysis suggests that all the groups including food group, petroleum good, consumer durables and raw materials have witnessed hefty decline in imports during the July-August period of 2019-20 over the same period last year.
The overall import bill declined by 21.41pc year-on-year to $7.67bn in July-August mainly due to decrease in arrival of furnace oil, palm oil and textiles.
Product-wise data showed that petroleum group imports dipped 26.75pc to $1.93bn during the July-August period, with the largest drop coming from crude oil, down 55pc in value. However, a 46.36pc dip was recorded in terms of the total quantity imported bringing down to 0.9 million tonnes.
The cost of petroleum products’ imports dipped 16.42pc during the first two months whereas a 7.84pc decline was recorded in terms of the total quantity imported; bringing the total down to 1.57m tonnes.
On the other hand, liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports declined 8.75pc while the import of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) surged 39.72pc during the period under review.
Machinery imports up 8.23pc to $1.72bn from $1.59bn last year led by surge in textile machinery-related imports, telecom and electrical machinery. The import of textile machinery up by 17.28pc, electrical machinery and apparatus posted a growth of 20.27pc.
The imports of telecommunication group increased by 10.95pc year-on-year to $239.34m in the July-August. The import of mobile handsets up by 19.4pc which was the result of a crackdown on smuggling and doing away with free imports in baggage schemes.
Import of the other apparatus decreased by 3.73pc. However, the import of power generating machinery and office machinery dropped by 8.53pc and 16.15pc, respectively. Early harvest of CPEC projects and cut in PSDP spending contributed to the low machinery import bill.
The overall transport group also witnessed a negative growth. The import of motor vehicle dropped by over 41pc during July-August.
The agriculture machinery imports shrank 23.3pc. A negative growth of 29.47pc was seen in imports of textile group—raw cotton, synthetic fibre, synthetic and artificial silk yarn, worn cloths; and another 26pc negative growth was recorded in imports of all metals.
The overall food group import declined by 26.8pc during July-August mainly due to imposition of regulatory duties on proceeds foods. The import of soyabean oil, however, posted a growth of 122.4pc.
Exports edge up
Textile and clothing exports posted a paltry growth of 2.3pc to $2.303bn during the first two months of current fiscal year as against $2.215bn over the last year.
The product-wise details show that exports of raw cotton posted a growth of 152.33pc in value followed by 100pc growth in export of cotton carded or combed and yarn other than cotton by 44.96pc, respectively.
In the value added sector, the export of knitwear up by 12.84pc in value and 10.68pc in quantity, followed by 1.22pc in value of bed wear and 20.4pc in quantity. The export of ready-made garments up by 7.47pc in value, and 34.62pc in quantity during the months under review. However, the export of towel dropped by 0.2pc.
Other primary commodities exports of which declined during the first two months include cotton yarn 7.76pc, cotton cloth 6.35pc and other textile materials decreased by 15.46pc, respectively.
Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2019