Imports touch near three-year high

Pakistan’s imports hit near three-year high of $5.66 billion in March with major contribution coming from import of wheat and sugar, oil and gas, fertilisers and pesticides, automobiles, mobile phones and machinery and equipment for industries.

However, according to a report by The Express Tribune based on data provided by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), persistent growth in imports – which grew over 71pc to $5.66 billion in March compared to $3.3 billion in the same month last year – may widen the country’s current account deficit.

Exports increased 31pc to $2.36 billion in March compared to $1.81 billion in the same month last year.

Import of oil and gas – mainly refined petrol and diesel – surged significantly ahead of the start of wheat harvesting season of FY21.

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The petroleum group imports surged 66pc to $1.1 billion during the month with refined petroleum products and crude oil imports increasing by 73pc and 97pc, respectively. The import of machinery group surged 72pc to $1.07 billion in March with power generators, mobile phones and apparatus and office and textile machinery imports steering the rise.

The transport group imports soared 184pc to $322 million in March with automobiles, motorcycles and their parts showing a growth of 160-250pc in the month compared to the same month of last year.

The import of agriculture and other chemicals surged 64pc to $907 million in the month with import of fertilisers and insecticides soaring by 100-136pc.

Textiles remained the singular largest export earning sector of Pakistan. It attracted almost 60pc of the overall export earnings. The export of textile group surged 30pc to $1.35 billion in March 2021 compared to $1.03 billion in the same month of last year, according to PBS.

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