Pakistan’s trade deficit widened to all-time high $43.33 billion during 11 months

trade deficit

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data showed that country’s merchandise trade deficit hiked by 57.85 percent year-on-year to an all-time high at $43.33 billion in the first 11 months of 2021-22 through May due to higher-than-expected imports.

The 11-month trade deficit has already reached the full year’s highest deficit of $37 billion in 2018 after the PML-N government came to an end, typically led by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor-related imports. This year’s trade deficit is pushed up by the highest ever increase in oil rates in the international market.

The trade deficit has been increased because of an unprecedented rise in imports after a hike in global commodity prices, while exports stagnated at about $2.5 billion to $2.8 billion a month.

During the month of May, the trade deficit came in at $4.04 billion, increasing by around 6.9 percent over April and by 11.5 percent against May 2021.

Read more: Pakistan’s trade deficit jumped to all-time high of $39.3 billion in 10 months

The trade deficit crossed an all-time high of $37.7 billion in the 2017-18 financial years. But, the government’s measures led to a decline in it to $31.8 billion the next year (2018-19) and afterwards a further drop to $23.2 billion in 2019-20.

However, a reverse in the trend was witnessed and the trade gap hiked to $30.8 billion in the 2020-21 fiscal year and is likely to reach an all-time high during the current fiscal year.

Moreover, the import bill rose 44.28 percent to $72.18 billion in the first 11 months of this fiscal year (July to May), increasing from $50.02 billion during the corresponding period a year ago.

The import bill in May edged up to $6.64 billion from $5.29 billion over the same month last year, an increase of about 25.43 percent. Imports showed a decrease of 0.52 percent month-on-month (MoM) in May.

Meanwhile, exports showed a rise of 27.78 percent from July to May to $28.84 billion, up from $22.57 billion in the corresponding month the previous year. Exports grew by 55.66 percent to $2.60 billion in May, up from $1.67 billion last year.

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