The country’s exports increased by 7.12 per cent during the first three quarters of the current fiscal year (FY21) as compared to the corresponding period of FY20.
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), exports during the (July-March) period stood at $18.685 billion against the exports of $17.443 billion in the same period of the last fiscal year.
However, imports during the period under review also increased by 13.6pc, increasing from $34.791 billion last year to $39.512 billion during 3QFY21.
As exports grew slower than the pace of increase in imports due to increasing reliance on imported commodities to ensure smooth supplies, the country’s trade deficit increased by 20pc during the first three quarters as compared to the corresponding period of last year.
The trade deficit during the period was recorded at $20.83 billion against the deficit of $17.35 billion last year.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan’s trade deficit widened 98pc in March on a year-on-year (YoY) basis. The gap between imports and exports increased to $3 billion in March compared to a year ago, a jump of $1.5 billion in a single month.
According to Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, imports grew mainly due to increased imports of petroleum products, wheat, soybean, machinery, raw material, chemicals, mobiles, fertiliser, tyres, antibiotics and vaccines.