- July 01, 2001
Oil import bill up by $600 million
Pakistan had to cough up an additional US$600
million over last year's oil spending as POL imports increased by 27.5
per cent during the first ten months (July-April) of the current
According to Economic Survey 2000-01, total imports
during the first ten months of the current fiscal increased by 6.1 per
cent. "The largest component of this increase in imports is
accounted for by the petroleum group (27.5 per cent)," the survey
The government had to pay almost $600 million more
on petroleum imports over the last year's level due to higher prices
of POL imports. Despite the non-conducive international environment
— decline in commodity prices and higher POL prices, Pakistan
succeeded in reducing the trade deficit by 1 per cent. Continued
volatility of oil prices remained a concern for Pakistan as higher
prices have kept Pakistan's balance of payment position under constant
pressure. While Pakistan's oil import bill used to be on average 17
per cent of total imports, it has now increased to 31 per cent of the
These shocks have each impacted Pakistan's growth
performance in varying degree during the outgoing fiscal year, the
finance minister claimed. During July-March of this year, the
production of crude oil per day has increased to 57,064 barrels from
56,141 barrels per day during the same period last year, showing an
increase of 1.6 per cent.
The production of gas per day stood at 2,371
million cubic feet during nine months as compared to 2,217 million
cubic feet over the same period last year, showing an increase of 6.9
per cent. The total production of gas however increased by 598,590
million cubic feet in July-March 1999-2000 to 650,727 million cubic
feet this year.
Major policy changes in the gas sector included
deregulation of gas prices by the government and keenness to promote
conversion of petrol vehicles to CNG. More than 700 licenses for
installation of CNG stations have been issued while 165 have already
been established. Total installed capacity of WAPDA for electricity
generation increased by 6 per cent during first ten months of the
current fiscal and stood at 17,772 MW.
$1.37 billion surplus in non-oil trade
Pakistan's non-oil foreign trade recorded a surplus
of $1.37 billion, during July 2000-April 2001, despite lower overall
export receipts on account of falling international prices.
Sources said the trade surplus indicates more
diversified export base and highlights the impact of international oil
prices on import bill. Exports are far more impressive in terms of
quantity increases than in dollar earnings. If the quantities of major
exports had attracted the same per unit price as prevailing in fiscal
2000, says a research report of a foreign bank "the incremental
increase in absolute terms" would have been to the tune of $1.06
billion in July-April 2001, over the same period previous year.
The quarterly "Economic Review" on
Pakistan published by ABN-AMRO Bank points out that in fact each and
every one of the country's ten top exports recorded positive growth in
volume terms, ranging from 2.8 per cent (knitwear) to 38.2 per cent
(synthetic textiles). Barring a nominal increase of 1.2 per cent in
knitwear, the dollar unit price of each one of these items registered
Tobacco, cigarettes export up by 91%
A meeting of Export Promotion Committee (EPC) on
tobacco and its manufacturing has expressed satisfaction over 91 per
cent increase in annual earnings from export of tobacco and cigarettes
during the current fiscal year.
The meeting was held here on Thursday with Chairman
Pakistan Tobacco Board, Rustam Shah Mohmand in the chair, said a press
release. The meeting was told that during the first 10 months of this
fiscal year the tobacco export was stood at Rs359 million as compared
to Rs187 million during the corresponding period of the last year,
which shows an increase of 91 per cent.
The meeting also formulated recommendations for
further promotion of export of tobacco and cigarettes. These included
sending of tobacco delegation abroad, allowing rebates on export of
tobacco, improvement of leaf quality, etc.
Dates export rises
Dates export has registered an increase of 18.21
per cent during July-March of the current fiscal year as compared to
the corresponding period last year. A spokesman of the Export
Promotion Bureau (EPB) stated this on Wednesday.
This was stated by a spokesman of the Export
Promotion Bureau (EPB) on Wednesday. He said that the export of the
commodity rose from 56,416 tons in July-March 1999-2000 to 66,900 tons
in the period of July-March 2000-2001.
Pakistan is going to take up the issue of anti-
dumping duty on bedlinen with European Union in the first week of the
next month, official sources said on Thursday.
Pakistan's Economic Minister to Brussels,
responsible for quota negotiations and other trade matters, is
expected to hold a meeting with EU officials on July 2, 2001 when the
commission would decide on a similar case concerning India. The
European Union in 1997 imposed anti-dumping duty on imports of
bedlinen from Pakistan and India.
Karachi Port operations
Berthing activity at the Karachi Port on Monday was fairly brisk as
the KPT tried to clear the inward rush of foreign flag vessels
including those whose arrivals were delayed. As a result, a record
number of nine ships got berths, which also included container
vessels, car carriers and oil tankers.