17 - 23, 2002
EXPORTS DECLINE SLIGHTLY: IMPORTS SLOW
Pakistan's merchandise exports declined slightly by
0.96 per cent during the period July-May (2001-02) over the
corresponding period of previous year, according to the foreign trade
statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) on
Exports totalled $8.17 billion — close to 91 per
cent of the modest target of $9 billion for the current financial year
that had been fixed by the commerce minister apparently as a face-
The negative growth concerns the cumulative
performance of the first 11 months of the current financial year with
exports moving sluggishly in the initial months. But when one looks at
the figures provided by the FBS concerning May 2002, the exports
appear to have picked up momentum.
The exports during the month amounted to $846.16
million — 7.66 per cent more than the previous month (April 2002)
and 6.67 per cent more than in May 2001.
During the 11-month period under review, imports
also slowed. These amounted to $9.36 billion, down 4.46 per cent from
the corresponding period of previous year. However, imports during May
shot up to $1.12 billion — 25.72 per cent more than in April 2002.
These also exceeded the imports during corresponding month of previous
year by as much as 18.72 per cent.
The negative growth rate of both exports and
imports contributed to a sharp 23.06 per cent drop in trade deficit to
$1.120 billion, as compared to $1.55 billion in the corresponding
period of 2000-01.
A significant aspect of the exports is the surge of
wheat as an item of export. In spite of severe drought, Pakistan has
found itself in the dilemma of what to do with its surplus wheat. Last
year, the country had exported about 31,000 tons of wheat. The
quantity of wheat exported this year so far is 5,65,864 tons.
Consequently, the share ($62.8 million) of wheat in exports of primary
commodities has risen to about 8 per cent.
The share of manufactured exports in total exports
this year has been 91.77 per cent, compared to 89.39 per cent for the
corresponding period of previous year. This was, of course,
attributable to 17.58 per cent decrease in exports of primary
$566M SAVED AS POL IMPORTS DROP BY 20PC
Pakistan saved $566 million over last year's oil
spending as petroleum imports dropped by 20 per cent during the first
ten months (July-April) of the current fiscal.
According to Economic Survey 2001-02, total imports
during the first ten months of the current fiscal declined by 6.9 per
cent to $8.245 billion as against $8.859 billion of the last year.
Major decline in imports during July-April have been observed in food
and petroleum groups.
This 15.1 per cent decline in crude oil import
clearly showed that this had a negative impact on the industrial
sector as low POL consumption was indicative of slower industrial
activity and productivity. Total oil imports this year amounted to
$2.222 billion against $2.779 billion of July-April last year period.
0.15M TONS SUGAR EXPORT TO KABUL LIKELY
Pakistan is expected to export up to 150,000 tons
of sugar to Afghanistan once loya jirga proceedings are over by end of
this month, official sources told.
The Afghan trade delegation that visited Pakistan
last month had expressed its desire to import around 100,000 tons of
sugar from Pakistan. Islamabad had briefed the delegation that it had
enough surplus sugar to meet Afghan requirements.
Sources in the commerce ministry said that Pakistan
Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) and other exporters had told the
government that given the existing duties and taxes, Pakistani sugar
could not compete international market.
Importers have started piling up goods in bonded
warehouses ahead of 2002-2003 budget in order to gain some windfall
after smelling that the government is curtailing import duties to 25
per cent from 30 per cent on various items as per WTO's requirement.
Market sources said that the rate of keeping the
goods in bonded warehouses has gone up prior to the budget.
KPT UPLIFT PROJECTS REVIEWED
Minister for Communications and Railways Javed
Ashraf Qazi has directed to establish close coordination among various
departments of ports and shipping so that their performance could be
The minister was presiding over a high-level
meeting on Monday in which development projects of Karachi Port Trust
were reviewed in detail.
He said that ports and shipping sector enjoyed key
significance in economic uplift of the country and added that every
possible steps would be taken to modernize this sector.
He said that role of communications departments in
all round development was an accepted one. He said the existing
leadership of Pakistan was undertaking concrete steps for development
of ports and shipping because the ports of Pakistan possessed vital
significance in regional trade activity in the future.
BD, PAKISTAN AGREE TO PROVIDE FACILITIES
Bangladesh and Pakistan on Saturday agreed to work
together for providing bonded warehouse facilities on bilateral basis,
with a view to boosting trade between the two countries, an official
The two sides have also agreed to review the
free-trade market access arrangements on the basis of South Asia
Preferential Trade Agreement (SAPTA), it said.
The current situation and possible market prices of
lint and seed cotton was discussed in a meeting of Pakistan Central
Cotton Committee (PCCC) held under the chairmanship of M. Shafi Niaz,
Advisor to Chief Executive on Food, Agriculture and Livestock on
The committee showed its concern on prevailing
imports trend of raw cotton. It was told that 1.3 million bales of 170
kg each have been imported so for, which was likely to be more by end
of current season.