- Clock in at $8.38 billion during July-November 2021
Pakistan's petroleum group imports witnessed a mammoth 112.3% growth during the first five months (July-November) of the ongoing fiscal year, clocking in at $8.38 billion compared to $3.947 billion during the same period of the previous fiscal year, reveals Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data.
The petroleum group contributed over one-fourth of the overall import bill, which stood at over $33 billion during the five months, data shows.
The PBS data also reveals that petroleum group's imports witnessed 36% growth on a monthly basis, amounting to $2.2 billion in November 2021.
This is the highest ever monthly oil import bill amid 93% YoY jump in Arab Light prices along with 67% YoY volumetric growth, said a note by brokerage house Arif Habib Limited.
On a year-on-year basis, petroleum group imports witnessed 181% growth in November 2021 alone.
Talking to Business Recorder, Tahir Abbas, Head of Research at Arif Habib Limited, said the oil import bill is expected to decline in the coming months amid stability in prices in the international market.
“Furthermore, State Bank of Pakistan's (SBP) latest measures to tighten up would also help in reducing domestic demand for oil, which would aid in curbing oil imports in the coming days,” added Abbas.
Meanwhile, agriculture and other chemical imports witnessed a growth of 88.3% during July-November and remained at $6,110 million compared to $3,245 million during July-November 2021.
In November alone, agriculture and other chemical imports registered 143.1% growth on a year-on-year basis and remained at $1,562 million compared to $643 million in November 2020.
Machinery group import witnessed a growth of 42.4% during July-November and remained at $4,802 million compared to $3,373 million during July-November 2021.
Machinery imports registered 47.2% growth on a year-on-year basis and remained at $1,081 million in November 2021 compared to $734 million in November 2020. On a month-on-month basis, it grew by 24% when compared to $872 million in October 2021.
Meanwhile, Pakistan also posted the highest-ever textile exports for the month of November 2021 at $1.7 billion as compared to $1.283 billion in same month last year, a 35% YoY growth. On a month-on-month basis, textile exports improved 8%.
Textile exports witnessed growth of 28% during July-November and remained at $7.8 billion compared to $6.04 billion during July-November 2021.
The country’s imports during July-November 2021 totalled $33.012 billion as against $19.468 billion during the corresponding period of last year, showing an increase of 69.6%.
Imports in November 2021 were $7.928 billion as compared to $6.369 in October 2021, an increase of 24.5%, but 84.7% when compared with $4.292 billion in November 2020.
The country’s trade deficit widened by 112.3% from $9.724 billion in July-November 2020 to $20.648 billion in July-November 2021.
Pakistan has been battling trade and current account deficits for a number of years. The issue has become a source of headache for policymakers that look to balance economic growth with a high demand for imports. The high import bill inevitably puts pressure on the rupee that dropped to its lowest level in history on Friday, closing over the 178 level in the inter-bank market.