ISLAMABAD: The overall imports of petroleum group witnessed 3.81 percent increase during the first three quarters of the current fiscal year as compared to the corresponding period of the last year. During the period under review, the total imports of petroleum group stood at $10.614 billion against imports of US $ 10.224 billion of the year 2017-18, according to latest data issued by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
The products that contribute in inflated petroleum import bill included, crude oil, the imports of which surged by 15.19 percent as $ 3379.035 million were spent on purchase of the commodity from international markets in first three quarters of the year 2018-19 as compared to spending of $2933.540 million spent during the same period of the previous year.
The import of liquefied natural gas also witnessed a sharp increase of 49.3 percent to US US $ 2404.628 million during the period under review against import of US $1610.628 million in same period of last year.
On the other hand, the petroleum products that witnessed decline in imports during the period under review included petroleum products, which witnessed negative growth of 15.33 percent by falling from US $ 5459.809 last year to US $ 4622.989 million. The imports of liquefied petroleum gas also decreased by 5.88 percent, from US $ 220.079 million to US $ 207.140 million during the current year.
The imports of all other petroleum group products, however increased by 23.12 percent, from US $ 0.173 million lat year to US $ 0.213 million.
Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the imports of petroleum products witnessed a decrease of 17.69 percent in March 2019 when compared to the imports of the same month of last year.
The petroleum group imports during March 2019 were recorded at US $ 995.427 million against the imports of US $ 1209.291 million last year. On month-on-month basis, the petroleum group imports however increased by 6.94 percent in March when compared to the imports of US $ 930.819 million in February 2019, the data revealed.
It is pertinent to mention here that country’s merchandize trade deficit plunged by 13.02 percent during July-March (2018-19) as the deficit contracted by over US $ 3.544 billion to US $ 23.672 billion in the period under review against the deficit of US $ 27.216 billion recorded during same period of the previous year. The exports during the period under review witnessed an increase of 0.11% to US $ 17.08 billion from US $ 17.064 billion during July-March (2017-18).
On the other hand, the imports declined by 7.96% to US $ 40.755 billion from US $ 44.281 billion recorded during first nine months of current fiscal year. On year-on-year basis, the imports into the country witnessed negative growth of 20.88% during March 2019 when compared to the imports of same month of last year.
The imports during March 2019 were recorded at US $ 4.155 billion against the imports of US $ 5.25 billion in March 2018.