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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s trade deficit widened by 117.22 percent on year-on-year basis and stood at $3.886 billion in October 2021, compared to $1.789 billion in October 2020, says the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

According to trade data released by the PBS on Tuesday, the country’s exports witnessed 16.52 percent growth on year-on-year basis in October 2021 and stood at $2.448 billion, compared to $2.101 billion in October 2020.

Imports witnessed 62.83 percent growth on year-on-year basis in October 2021 and stood at $6.334 billion compared to $3.890 billion in October 2020.

Pakistan’s trade deficit widened by 105.43 percent to $15.619 billion during the first four months (July-October) of current fiscal year 2021-22 as compared to $7.603 billion during the same period of 2020-21.

The country’s imports stood at $25.063 billion during July-October 2021-22 compared to $15.176 billion during the same period of the last fiscal year, i.e., registered 65.15 percent increase.

Exports witnessed 24.71 percent growth during July-October 2021-22 and remained $9.444 billion compared to $7.573 billion during the same period of 2020-21.

The data further revealed that the trade deficit on month-on-month basis narrowed by 7.14 percent to $3.886 billion in October 2021, compared to $4.185 billion in September 2021.

The country’s exports registered 1.58 percent growth on month-on-month basis and stood at $2.448 billion in October 2021, compared to $2.410 billion in September 2021.

Imports declined by 3.96 percent in October 2021 and stood at $6.334 billion, compared to $6.595 billion in September 2021.

The trade figures were slightly different than what the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Razak Dawood, shared with the media a day earlier.

According to the adviser, Pakistan’s exports in October 2021 grew by 17.5 percent to $2.471 billion, as compared to $2.104 billion in October 2020.

This is the highest ever export in any October in our history. Our export target for October 2021 was $2.6 billion, he claimed. “For the period Jul-Oct 2021, our exports grew by 25 percent $9.468 million as compared to $7.576 billion during Jul-Oct 2020. Our target for Jul-Oct 2021 was $9.6 billion,” the adviser added.

During Jul-Oct 2021, our imports increased by 64 percent to $24.99 million compared to $15.19 billion during Jul-Oct 2020.

About 40 percent of this increase is investment-driven (capital goods, raw material and intermediates), which indicates expansion of industry and enhanced activity by industry.

The remaining 60 percent of imports comprise petroleum, coal and gas 34 percent, vaccines 11 percent, food (eight percent), consumer goods (two percent), and all others (five percent). Most of this is inelastic in nature.

In absolute terms, the net increase in imports over this period is USD 9.801 billion. Of this, the consumer goods are USD 239 million, food USD 823 million, capital goods USD 1,620 million, raw material and intermediates USD 2,209 million, petroleum, coal and gas USD 3,364 million, vaccines USD 1,068 million, and all others USD 478 million.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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