Pakistan’s petroleum and food imports surged to $21.87 billion in three quarters

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Pakistan’s petroleum and food import bill increased by 59.98 percent to $21.87 billion during the July-March period against $13.67 billion in the corresponding period the previous year on the account of higher international prices and massive rupee devaluation.

According to the statistics released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the overall import of the country bill surged by 49.10 percent to $58.87 billion in 9MFY22 compared to $39.48 billion in the corresponding period last year.

The contribution of these products to the total import bills also grew to 37.14 percent in 9MFY22.

Moreover, the PBS data revealed that the import bill of oil rose by over 96.09 percent to $14.81 billion during 9MFY22 from $7.55 billion over the corresponding months of last year.

Read more: Food import bill surges by over 21% to $5.63 billion in seven months

Further breakup recorded the increase of the import of petroleum products by 111.45 percent in value and 20.05 percent in quantity. Crude oil imports increased by 82.25 percent in value while 3.50 percent in quantity within the period under review. Liquefied natural gas imports showed an increase of 91.78 percent in value. While liquefied petroleum gas imports hiked up by 46.32 percent in value in 9MFY22.

Meanwhile, the growing petroleum and food imports and the resulting trade deficit is however another source of concern for the government. Pakistan spent more than $8 billion on the import of edible items during the last fiscal year.

The major contribution, within the food group, came from sugar, wheat, spices, edible oil, tea, and pulses. Edible oil imports saw a substantial rise in both quantity and value terms. Owing to rising world prices, the palm oil import bill increased by 46.74 percent in value during 9MFY22 to $2.73 billion from $1.86 billion in 9MFY21.

Consequently, the domestic prices of cooking oil and vegetable ghee also rose. The soya bean oil import went up by 113.7 percent in value and 6.98 percent in quantity in 9MFY22 last year. On the other hand, the wheat imports witnessed a drop of 38.91 percent to 2.206 million tonnes in 9MFY22 against 3.61 million tonnes in 9MFY21.

The PBS data further showed that the import of sugar went up by 11.24 percent to 311,031 tonnes in 9MFY22 compared to 279,604 tonnes in 9MFY21.

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