According to statistics issued by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Thursday, Pakistan’s food import bill increased by 22.24 percent in July to $647.036 million, up from $529.311 million in the first month of the last fiscal year.
The ongoing food import bill is causing a trade deficit, which may cause the government to be concerned on the exterior front.
In the previous fiscal year, Pakistan spent more than $8 billion on food imports.
The government has suggested numerous steps in the 2021-22 budget, including the funding of billions of rupees for improving per acre production, decreasing wastage, and constructing large warehouses for storing basic food products.
The overall import bill increased by 52.46 percent to $5.601 billion in July, compared to $3.673 billion in the same month last year.
In July, the value of palm oil imports increased by 23.35 percent to $254.02 million, up from $205.935 million in the same months the previous year. During the same time period, there was a 35% decrease in palm oil imports. The cost of importing palm oil has risen due to an increase in the commodity’s worldwide price.
As a result, home users’ costs for vegetable ghee and cooking oil have risen in recent months. Soya bean oil imports fell by 25.53 percent in value and 58.78 percent in quantity.
Pakistan imported 3.612 million tons of wheat for $983.326 million in the first nine months of the current fiscal year, compared to nil imports in the previous year.
Sugar imports totaled 33,620 tonnes in July, up from a paltry amount in the same month the previous year.
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In July, imports of tea and spices increased by 7.72 percent and 13.81 percent, respectively. The increase is mostly attributable to a decrease in transit trade imports and a crackdown on smuggling in border regions.
Imports of mobile phones fell 10.41 percent in July compared to the same month last year.
The machinery import bill jumped by 29.97% to $881.783 million in July, compared to $678.430 million in the same month the previous year.
The oil import bill increased by 76.79 percent in July to $1.330 billion, up from $752.461 million in the same month the previous year. The value of petroleum product imports increased by 66.99 percent while the quantity decreased by 7.70 percent.
During the month under review, crude oil imports grew by 85.16 percent in value and 8.22 percent in quantity, while liquefied natural gas imports jumped by 111 percent in value. In July, the value of liquefied petroleum gas imports increased by 4.9 percent.