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Petroleum imports surge first time since June 2018

Petroleum imports surge first time since June 2018

ISLAMABAD: Import of petroleum products surged by 76 per cent year-on-year in February, witnessing an increase for the first time since June 2018, reported the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Tuesday.

The upsurge in petroleum products imports was seen both in value and quantity by 75.9pc and 59.05pc, respectively. However, imports of other petroleum groups such as crude and liquefied natural gas (LNG) continued during the month.

The total oil imports rose by 18.27pc in February to $1.1bn, from $0.930bn in corresponding month last year. In terms of rupee, the bill posted a steeper jump at 31.7pc to Rs169.821bn, from Rs128.946bn.

Import of crude oil decreased 29.48pc to $231.38m, as against $328.09m while the quantity also dipped 16.12pc.

Similarly, LNG imports edged lower 2.72pc to $209.19m during February, from $215.04m. This would have translated into relatively lower power production through LNG — a replacement for furnace oil.

The rupee value of LNG import was, however, higher by about 8.32pc at Rs32.27bn, compared to Rs29.79bn.

On the other hand, liquefied petroleum gas imports inched up 2.56pc to $30.31m, but this could not drag down the overall bill of petroleum group given its limited volume.

However, total oil imports fell 14.36pc to $8.23 billion during 8MFY20, from $9.61bn in the same period last year. The fall in rupee value of the bill was comparatively lower at 1.98pc to Rs1.28 trillion, from Rs1.25 trillion.

At the same time, the export of petroleum group and coal also jumped by 23.2pc to $34.51m in February, from $28m in the same month of 2019. The was led by crude rising by 8.75pc in February to $22.436m, followed by 27.78pc in products excluding top naphta at $9.4m.

The trend was different during 8MFY20 as export of the overall petroleum group and coal dipped by 34.7pc to $214m, from $328m.

The PBS is yet to release January and February data for local ­production of petroleum but figures from the first half showed a 10pc decrease.

However, the fall in imports of crude oil also translated into lower ­production of petroleum products by local refineries. The output of almost all 11 petroleum components also remained lower during this period.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2020

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