Total exports increase by 11.24pc in July-Dec 2017-18

Trade deficit surged by 24.50 per cent in July-Dec this year

KARACHI: The country exports surged by 11.24 per cent in first half of the current fiscal year to $ 11.007 billion compared to $ 9.895 billion in the same period last year.

Despite all efforts of the federal government to reduce the country’s foreign import by imposing huge taxes on 731 items, the imports of the country increased by 19.11 per cent to $ 28.970 billion in July-Dec 2017-18 compared to $ 24.323 billion in the same period last year, however it increased by 0.24 per cent compared to November 2017.

The country’s exports slightly enhanced by 11.24 per cent to $ 11.007 billion during July-Dec 2017-18 compared to $ 9.895 billion in the same period last year. However, it increased to $ 1.977 billion in December 2017 compared to $ 1.974 billion in November 2017.

Meanwhile, the trade deficit slightly enhanced to 24.50 per cent to $ 17.963 billion compared to $ 14.428 billion in the same period last year. On a year-on-year basis, it increased by 0.31 per cent compared to November 2017. The trade deficit stood at $ 2.933 billion in December 2017 compared to $ 2.934 billion in November 2017.

The analyst said, “measures taken by the government worked in the month of December and trade deficit enhanced marginally.” The exports improved very slowly, he added. He said we hope to continue to see the declining imports in the upcoming months owing to the government measures and depreciation of the Pak-rupee against the US dollar.

Total foreign reserves of the country, which had come down to below $ 19.5 billion only because of rising import bills, have gone up because of the US dollar bonds sales. The SBP had received $ 2.5 billion and total reserves of the country stand at above $ 20.154 billion.

The central bank has devalued the local currency by 5 per cent in December 2017 which will also help to enhance the exports and reduce the imports, the analyst claimed.

Analysts of the brokerage houses believed that export of goods may touch above $ 22-23 billion if the federal government releases industrialists’ refunds and export’s rebates etc on time.

The country’s goods exports had declined by 1.63 per cent to $ 20.448 billion in (July-June) 2016-17 from $ 20.787 billion in the same period last year. In last two years, the country exports had slid by 15.75 per cent from $ 23.667 billion in 2014-15.

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Arshad Hussain
Arshad Hussain
The author is business reporter at Pakistan Today. He can be reached at [email protected]. He tweets @ArshadH47736937
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