BAFL 38.80 Decreased By ▼ -0.19 (-0.49%)
BIPL 16.22 Increased By ▲ 0.22 (1.38%)
BOP 3.95 Increased By ▲ 0.15 (3.95%)
CNERGY 3.10 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.32%)
DFML 16.30 Decreased By ▼ -0.18 (-1.09%)
DGKC 44.03 Increased By ▲ 0.04 (0.09%)
FABL 22.41 Increased By ▲ 0.27 (1.22%)
FCCL 10.85 Decreased By ▼ -0.12 (-1.09%)
FFL 6.03 Increased By ▲ 0.12 (2.03%)
GGL 9.54 Increased By ▲ 0.31 (3.36%)
HBL 94.58 Decreased By ▼ -1.44 (-1.5%)
HUBC 86.95 Increased By ▲ 0.10 (0.12%)
HUMNL 5.61 Decreased By ▼ -0.09 (-1.58%)
KEL 1.91 Increased By ▲ 0.04 (2.14%)
LOTCHEM 27.88 Increased By ▲ 0.39 (1.42%)
MLCF 29.55 Increased By ▲ 0.30 (1.03%)
OGDC 96.62 Increased By ▲ 0.62 (0.65%)
PAEL 10.45 Increased By ▲ 0.69 (7.07%)
PIBTL 3.82 Increased By ▲ 0.10 (2.69%)
PIOC 85.50 Increased By ▲ 0.69 (0.81%)
PPL 74.14 Decreased By ▼ -0.16 (-0.22%)
PRL 15.22 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.13%)
SILK 0.98 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-2%)
SNGP 46.34 Decreased By ▼ -0.16 (-0.34%)
SSGC 9.10 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.55%)
TELE 6.94 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.14%)
TPLP 12.32 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.4%)
TRG 90.45 Increased By ▲ 1.15 (1.29%)
UNITY 25.79 Increased By ▲ 0.32 (1.26%)
WTL 1.13 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.88%)
BR100 4,660 Increased By 4.9 (0.11%)
BR30 16,649 Increased By 25.8 (0.16%)
KSE100 46,394 Decreased By -27.5 (-0.06%)
KSE30 16,219 Decreased By -41.6 (-0.26%)

The imports numbers published by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) for the last two months are not adding up. According to the official data, Pakistan imported $7.9 billion worth of goods in November and $7.6 billion in December. This is much higher than the previous six months average imports of $6.1 billion. The cumulative number of $15.5 billion in the last two months is too high and is counterintuitive. It seems that there is something missing somewhere in the numbers. The government needs to explain this as such high import and trade deficit numbers are creating panic in the markets.

One glaring anomaly in November was the imports of petroleum products and crude. According to PBS, Pakistan imported 2.8 million tons of petroleum products and crude in November. That is far higher than average monthly imports in the past. Pakistan imported 22.9 million tons of oil equivalent (TOE) in 2019 and 18.7 million TOE in 2020. This implies a monthly average of 1.7 million TOE imports. How can Pakistan import 2.8 million tons in November 2021?

The data of petroleum imports being fed by Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) was 1.83 million tons in November while the PBS data stood at 2.84 million tons. OCAC number was cross verified by the ministry of energy. And SBP number is also suggesting similar imports as posted by OCAC. The question is what is being fed to PBS through PRAL that is creating such a huge difference. It’s a mystery.

The difference is staggering one million tons; in dollars terms, the difference is around $600 million. One ship carries 60,000 tons. This would imply 17 extra ships in November. How can 17 ships reporting have gone missing by OCAC? Another question is about the port handling capacity. Certainly, our choking ports cannot handle 2.8 million tons volume a month. There is something missing.

The other mysterious area is of COVID vaccine imports. According to Faisal Sultan’s tweet, Pakistan has imported 247 million doses till 31st December 2021 – out of which 157 million doses were purchased and the remaining are grants from COVAX and China. The imports numbers reflect the total 247 million doses. For grants, the reporting is different in the current account. But all the numbers are to be reflected in imports.

Vaccines are parked in medicinal imports in PBS data. The average monthly medicinal imports stood at $87 million during January 2019 to March 2021. Thereafter, the number started growing and this is where COVID vaccines are reflected. During April-Nov 2021, medicinal imports stood at $2,678 million. Assuming non-Covid vaccine monthly imports at $87 million per month, the vaccine imports is estimated at $1,982 million during Apr-Nov 2021. This would imply average price per dose at $8. According to government sources, the prices is around $7.

The government sources are now saying that $705 million worth of vaccines are being imported in December. This number is not making sense. Even sources in NCOC are not able to digest $705 million vaccine imports in December. There is something mysterious here too.

Adding the two anomalies of $600 million in November and $700 million due to vaccine in December, there is unexplained $1.3 billion worth of imports in the import bill in the last two months. The government needs to explain these anomalies to the market. Seeing $15.5 billion imports and $9.9 billion trade deficit in the last two months, panic is spreading, which is putting pressure on PKR. Government should explain this to calm the markets and to end the mystery.


1000 characters
nadeem iqbal hassan Jan 07, 2022 05:52pm
nice work done by br research. Govt. should answer these valid questions raised by BR.
thumb_up Recommended (0) reply Reply
Aamir Jan 08, 2022 07:55am
Good points raised. Hopefully the govt comes up clean about it otherwise panic will cause further devaluation.
thumb_up Recommended (0) reply Reply
Parvez Malik Jan 08, 2022 04:36pm
Hoodwinking the nation by every institution. No wonder IMF wants to control all financial institutions.
thumb_up Recommended (0) reply Reply
Khawar Nehal Jan 09, 2022 10:00pm
According to Faisal Sultan’s tweet. well if you based numbers on tweets, then you can expect some strange inputs. Reason your numbers do not align. Simple, your sources are not reliable.
thumb_up Recommended (0) reply Reply

The imports mystery

Intra-day update: rupee’s merry run continues against US dollar

Open-market: rupee improves to 290-293 against US dollar

Inflation expected to cross 30% in Sept amid spike in POL rates: brokerage house

‘Pre-election rally’: PSX has potential to reach near 50,000, says brokerage house

Imran Khan should be shifted to Adiala Jail: IHC

Missing TV anchor Imran Riaz ‘safely recovered’: Sialkot police

National Refinery initiates production, supply of bunker fuel

Oil prices rise, tight supply back in focus

Hong Kong crypto firm hit by $200 million hack

Boosting industrial competitiveness: SIFC executive body seeks a financial plan