ISLAMABAD: Imports of the petroleum group dipped 8.28 per cent year-on-year in the July-February period of FY23 owing to the sharp reduction in demand as a result of the slowing down of the economy amid unprecedented inflation.

The highest-ever increase in prices also contributed to lower consumption of petroleum products. In absolute terms, the total import value of the petroleum group fell to $11.87bn in 8MFY23 from $12.94bn over the corresponding months of last year.

Data compiled by the Pak­istan Bureau of Statis­tics released on Friday sho­wed the imports of petroleum products decli­ned by 14.47pc in value during 8MFY23 and 32.32pc in quantity. Import of crude oil decreased by 11.32pc in quantity while the value increased by 10.32pc.

Similarly, liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports fell by 17.19pc during July-Feb FY23 on a year-on-year basis. This would have translated into relatively lower LNG-based power generation — a replacement for furnace oil. On the other hand, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) imports jumped 8.17pc during the months under review.

In February 2023, total oil imports slightly increased by 1pc to $1.26 billion, from $1.25bn in the same month last year.

For many years machinery imports have been a major reason for the growing trade deficit, but it registered negative growth of 46.42pc to $4.15bn in 8MFY23 from $7.75bn in the corresponding period last year mainly due to a year-on-year decline of 62.08pc in the arrivals of telecom equipment inclu­ding mobile phones.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2023

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