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ISLAMABAD: The country's trade deficit has swelled by 104 percent to $ 15.525 billion during the first four months (July-October) 2021-22 from $ 7.617 billion in the corresponding period of financial year 2020-21.

According to the Commerce Ministry imports have posted growth of 64.5 per cent touching $ 25 billion ($ 24.994) during the first four months (July-October) of 2021-22, against 15.193 billion during the same period of 2020-21showing a difference of $ 9.801 billion during this period.

The country's imports registered $ 6.247 billion in October 2021 as compared to $ 3.907 billion in the same month of 2020, posting a growth of 60 per cent. Trade deficit remained at 109.4 per cent to $ 3.775 billion in October as compared to $ 1.803 billion in October 2020.

An official statement issued by the Commerce Ministry says that Pakistan's exports in October 2021 grew by 17.5% to $2.471 billion as compared to $2.104 billion in Oct 2020 which is the highest ever export in any month of October. Ministry has also claimed that export target for October 2021 was $2.6 billion.

Q1 trade deficit widens 100.6pc

It further said that for the period Jul-Oct 2021, exports grew by 25% to $ 9.468 billion as compared to $ 7.576 billion during July-Oct 2020, slightly behind the target of $ 9.6 billion.

The Commerce Ministry maintained that during July-Oct 2021-22, imports increased by 64% to $24.99 billion compared to $15.19 billion during Jul-Oct 2020-21, claiming that about 40% of this increase is investment-driven (capital goods, raw material & intermediates) which indicates expansion of industry and enhanced activity by industry.

The remaining 60% of imports comprise petroleum, coal and gas 34%, vaccines 11%, food (8%), consumer goods (2%) and all others (5%). Most of this is inelastic in nature.

The Ministry has also claimed that in absolute terms, the net increase in imports over this period is $ 9.801 billion. Of this, the consumer goods are $ 239 million, food $ 823 million, capital goods $ 1.620 billion, raw material and intermediates $ 2.209 billion, petroleum, coal and gas $ 3.364 billion, vaccines $ 1.068 billion and all others $ 478 million.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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