Country’s oil import bill surges by 30.43pc to $12.928bn

KARACHI: Pakistan’s oil import bill rose nearly 30.43 per cent year-on-year to $12.928 billion in July-May 2017-18 owing to an increase in global prices of crude oil and rising demand of petroleum products in the country.

The amount of the oil import bills is around one-third of the total import bill for the period.

The trade deficit is widening as the overall import bill of the country has been on the rise since the start of 2017-18.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday showed the current account deficit at around $15.961 billion in July-May 2017-18 billion which surged by 43 per cent as compared to the previous year.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) imports rose by 84.5 per cent in the last eleven months of the current fiscal year to $2.123 billion as compared to the previous year’s gas imports worth $1,150 billion.

Official figures released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Wednesday showed that the petroleum imports increased 30.5 per cent year-on-year to $12.928 billion which was around $9.912 billion in the same period last year.

A 60.35 per cent growth was recorded in the import of crude oil year-on-year to $3.738 billion. But in terms of quantity, a growth of 28.72 per cent was posted year-on-year to 9.45 million tonnes, indicating that a large share of the increase is on account of higher prices.

Imports of petroleum products went up 9.54 per cent to $6.808 billion the eleven-month period. The petroleum products recorded a nearly negative 4.66 per cent in quantity year-on-year to 14.362 million tonnes.

In the current fiscal, year the second-biggest component in the import bill was transport group whose import rose 27.88 per cent year-on-year to $3.821 billion in last eleven months of this fiscal year. The increase is due mainly to massive imports of busses/ trucks (60.8 per cent), and motor cycle (57.88 per cent).

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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