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Pakistan’s Imports Witness a Significant 29.15% Year-on-Year Decline

Pakistan’s Imports Experience a Significant Year-on-Year Decline of 29.15%

Imports in Pakistan have seen a noteworthy decline of 29.15% during the July-May period of the fiscal year 2022-23. This decline, especially in petroleum group imports, indicates that the coalition government has been successful in reducing the trade deficit. However, it also raises concerns about the country’s overall economic well-being.

According to the latest data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), overall imports during this period amounted to $51.210 billion (provisional), compared to $72.280 billion in the previous fiscal year. Specifically, petroleum group imports stood at $15.382 billion, down from $19.679 billion recorded in the previous fiscal year.

In a month-to-month comparison, petroleum imports experienced a significant increase in May 2023, reaching $1.407 billion, a 57.91% surge compared to the previous month’s $891.468 million. However, on a year-on-year basis, May 2023 witnessed a decline of 46.80% in petroleum imports compared to the same month in the previous year, which recorded imports worth $2.645 billion.

These year-on-year figures are even more significant considering the considerable depreciation of the Pakistani rupee. They indicate a substantial decrease in consumption and volume.

The decision by Shell Plc, the parent company of Shell Pakistan, to exit the Pakistani market is one example of the impact of these declining imports. The company, along with Germany and other countries, found it challenging to compete with global competitors and has shifted its focus to exploration and supply rather than retail business.

Within the petroleum group, the import of finished petroleum products experienced an even larger decline of 32.67% during the July-May period, with imports amounting to $6.748 billion compared to $10.022 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year. However, in May 2023, imports of finished petroleum products increased significantly to $599.080 million compared to $312.588 million in April 2023, indicating a growth of 91.65%.

In terms of overall imports, May 2023 recorded imports worth $4.328 billion (provisional), showing a 44.41% increase compared to April’s $2.997 billion. However, this still represents a decline of 35.98% compared to May 2022’s imports of $6.760 billion.

When comparing two other groups during the first 11 months of the fiscal years 2022-23 and 2021-22, machinery imports saw a decline of 47.75% to $5.399 billion from $10.333 billion, while food imports dipped by 0.84% to $8.380 billion from $8.451 billion.

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