According to the provisional statistics of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), imports into Pakistan during May, 2018 amounted to Rs671,212 million (provisional) as compared to Rs589,741 million (provisional) during April, 2018 and Rs530,620 million during May, 2017 explaining a rise of 13.81 percent over April, 2018 and of 26.50 percent over May, 2017. In terms of US dollars the imports in May, 2018 was $5,814 million (provisional) as against to $5,109 million (provisional) during April, 2018 explaining a rise of 13.80 percent and by 14.77 percent as against to $5,066 million during May, 2017. Imports during July-May, 2017-18 totaled Rs6,033,124 million (provisional) as compared to Rs5,066,993 million during the same period of last year explaining a rise of 19.07 percent. In terms of US dollars the imports during July-May, 2017-18 totaled $ 55,232 million (provisional) as compared to $48,398 million during the same period of last year explaining a rise of 14.12percent.
PBS officials also recorded that main products of imports during May, 2018 were petroleum products (Rs92,352 million), petroleum crude (Rs46,764 million), power generating machinery (Rs35,141), plastic materials (Rs25,466 million), electrical machinery & apparatus (Rs24,169 million), iron & steel (Rs22,020 million), raw cotton (Rs19,178 million), fertilizers manufactured (Rs18,588 million) and palm oil (Rs18,369 million).
Finance Ministry also highlighted that Pakistan’s imports are mostly concentrated in a few markets. Pakistan imports from countries like China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Indonesia constitutes greater than 50 percent of the total imports. During current fiscal year 2017-18, share of imports from China has declined from 32 percent in previous fiscal year to 25 percent during July-January 2017-18. However, the Finance Ministry also mentioned that share of import from UAE, has declined by 2 percent during July-January 2017-18 as against to corresponding period last year.
Pakistan’s oil import bill increased almost 30.4 percent yearly to $12.928 billion in July-May FY2017-18 owing to a rise in worldwide prices of crude oil and growing demand of petroleum products in Pakistan. The amount of the oil import bills is almost one-third of the total import bill for the period. Official statistics published by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed that the petroleum imports rose 30.5 percent yearly to $12.928 billion which was almost $9.912 billion in the corresponding period previous year. Different sources also mentioned that a 60.35 percent growth was registered in the import of crude oil yearly to $3.738 billion. But in terms of quantity, a growth of 28.72 percent was recorded yearly to 9.45 million tons, showing that a large share of the rise is on account of higher prices.
It is also said that imports of petroleum products went up 9.54 percent to $6.808 billion the 11-month period. The petroleum products registered a nearly negative 4.66 percent in quantity yearly to 14.362 million tons. In the current fiscal 2017-18, year the second-biggest component in the import bill was transport group whose import increased 27.88 percent yearly to $3.821 billion in last 11-month of ongoing fiscal year. Sources also urged that the rise is because of largely to massive imports of busses/ trucks (60.8 percent), and motor cycle (57.88 percent).
The Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) imports of Pakistan stood a record of 10 million tons in last 3-year, which resulted in savings of $3 billion in fuel imports for the national exchequer. Sources showed that LNG imports are set to take further rise in wake of the commencement of commercial operations of 3.0 new regasified LNG plants in Punjab like Balloki, Bhikki and Haveli Bahadur Shah having a combined capacity of 3,600MW. LNG which is a cheaper commodity to import compared to diesel and furnace oil has allowed the Government of Pakistan to bridge the overall gas deficit of almost 2.5 billion cubic feet by 25 percent. It is also estimated that 80 percent of the LNG supplies are being arranged under long and medium-term supply agreements and the rest from spot markets. LNG imports increased by 84.5 percent in the last 11- months of the current fiscal year to $2.123 billion as against to the previous year’s gas imports worth $1,150 billion.