The country’s import bill of food items went high by 21.32 percent to $5.63 billion during the first seven months of this fiscal year as compared to $4.64 billion during these months, last year.
This massive increase has been found mainly due to the hike in the global prices and devaluation of local currency in Pakistan. The share of import of eatables in the total import bill also moved up because of bridging the gap of eatables in the country.
During the period, from July to January in this financial year, the total import bill comes to $46.62 billion as compared to just $29.26 billion during this period, last year. The amount of $8 billion was spent on the import of food items during the fiscal year 2020-21.
The rising trend of import bills for eatables could be problematic for the policymakers in Pakistan as consequently, it will cause the growth of trade deficit.
Adding insult to injury, the import bill of food items will further increase in the future as the government is going to import 0.6 million tons of sugar and 4 million tons of wheat so that the strategic reserves could be maintained in the country.
Wheat, sugar, edible oil, spices tea, and pulses have the biggest share in the import bill of eatables.
As the global prices are moving up, the palm oil import bill increased by 55.75 percent in value to 2.13 billion from July 2021 to January 2022 as compared to $1.3 billion during the first seven months of the last fiscal year.
The import of soya bean oil also went up by 34.70 percent in value during the first seven months of the current fiscal year as compared to these months in the last financial year.
During the period, under consideration, the import of wheat came down by 21 percent to 1.76 million tons as compared to 2.96 million tons during this period in the fiscal year 2020-21. In January, however, the import of wheat grew by 17.67 percent.
The import of sugar went high by 49.84 percent to 309,837 tons during the period from July to January as compared to 278,523 tons during the first seven months of the last fiscal year. In January, the import of sugar went high by 308 percent as compared to the import of sugar during this month, last year.