ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s oil and eatables imports grew 11.4 per cent in the first two months of the current fiscal year to $5.08 billion from $4.56bn a year ago, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) said on Thursday.

In contrast, textile and clothing exports could only rise by 4.2pc year-on-year to $3.05bn due to slow demand and high cost of local production because of expensive energy.

The oil import bill increased by over 7pc to $3.30bn in July-August from $3.08bn over the corresponding months of last year.

Further breakup showed that the import of petroleum products went up by 7.8pc in value. Crude oil imports rose by 10.5pc in value during the period under review while those of liquefied natural gas declined by 3.37pc in value. Liquefied petroleum gas imports jumped by 41.50pc in value in FY23.

The food import bill rose by over 21pc to $1.78bn in the two months under review from $1.47bn a year ago to bridge the local production gap. Within the food group, the major contribution came from wheat, sugar, edible oil, spices, tea and pulses.

Pakistan imported 622,515 tonnes of wheat to bridge the shortage in local production.

Contrary to this, the machinery import bill declined by 30.6pc to $1.29bn in July-August against $1.86bn in the same period last year.

The major contribution to the decline came from the import of almost all sectors, including mobile phones and textile machinery. However, the electrical machinery posted growth during the period under review.

Textile exports

The PBS data showed that the textile and clothing exports grew by just 4.2pc year-on-year in July-August. High energy cost was one of the reasons for the slowdown in textile exports.

Data showed that ready-made garments exports jumped 8.5pc in value and 61pc in quantity in July-August, while the exports of knitwear edged up 17pc in value and 66.4pc in quantity.

Bedwear exports dipped by 3pc in value and 22.2pc in quantity.

Towel exports declined by 6.6pc in value and 26.5pc in quantity, whereas those of cotton cloth rose by 2.7pc in value and a decline of 32.8pc in quantity.

Among primary commodities, cotton yarn exports dropped by 17pc and those of yarn made from materials other than cotton by 0.8pc.

The exports of made-up articles — excluding towels — declined by 13.6pc, while those of tents, canvas and tarpaulin grew 56.8pc during the period under review.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2022

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