Pakistan News

Imports spike nearly 20pc

Imports spike nearly 20pc

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s import bill rose 18.7 per cent year-on-year to $38.503 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal year, mainly driven by imports of capital goods.

The latest economic survey launched on Thursday observes that the economy is being led both by investments as well as consumption, resulting in higher imports.

The import target for the year 2016-17 was projected at $45.2bn.

Imports of capital goods in July-March stood at $12bn, which will eventually increase the country’s industrial capacity and help exports flourish. Within this group, the import bill of textile machinery grew 20.8pc, suggesting increased activity in the textile sector which is a healthy sign and is likely to bear fruit in the future.

The import bill of power-generating machinery grew 76.5pc, followed by 25.6pc growth in electrical machinery and apparatus during the period under review. Construction and mining machinery is another sector which witnessed a growth of 25.7pc.

Imports of crude oil and petroleum products constituted 20.1pc of Pakistan’s total import bill, and were the second-heaviest import group after machinery.

Imports of petroleum group surged 27.5pc year-on-year to $7.748bn. This increase was driven primarily by higher volumetric imports of furnace oil and high-speed diesel on the back of higher demand from power and transportation sectors, respectively.

The third-biggest import sector was food, which witnessed a year-on-year increase of 15pc to $4.528bn.

Meanwhile, the overall exports fell by over 3pc year-on-year to $15.118bn during the nine-month period. The decline was witnessed in almost all sectors except value-added textile products. The only segments in the textile sector which witnessed growth were readymade garment and bedwear. European Union’s GSP+ preferential tariff scheme had a positive impact only on these two sectors.

Exports of knitwear and towel decreased during the period.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2017

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