TRADE

 

Sep 16 - 22, 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

MACHINERY IMPORTS SURGE BY 27.69PC

Imports of machinery of different categories surged by 27.69 per cent to $422.37 million during the first two months of 2002-03 over the same period of previous year, according to details of foreign trade statement available from the Federal Bureau of Statistics. As a result, the share of machinery group in total import bill ($1.90 billion) increased to 22.22pc a rise of over 3pc.

 

Imports of electrical machinery and apparatus together with power generating machinery cost the country $73.35 million, accounting for 17.37pc of the bill for entire machinery group, as against 13pc during the same period of previous year, when their import had been worth $42 million.

The imports of road motor vehicles continued their upward trend with an increase of 43.67pc over the previous year. The amount of foreign exchange spent by the country on these was $74.33 million.

For the first time in a long time, the import of office machines, including computers, etc., indicates some decline. The foreign exchange spent on this items amounted to 32.40 million, down 14.61pc from previous year.

Of surprise is also the 29.54pc rise in import of foodstuffs ($160.90 million) which accounted for 8.46pc for the total import bill, as against 7.18pc in the comparable period of previous year.

In this group, the import of 36,300 tons of wheat is rather puzzling in the face of official claims about a bumper crop.

Another factor in the rise in food import bill is the continued dependency on edible oil imports. Over 50pc of the food import bill is on account of import of palm oil alone (81.24 million) albeit at an increased rate.

In the petroleum group the No 1 claimant on foreign exchange resources though the import at $500.98 million declined by 4.45pc over the previous year. In this group, particularly noteworthy is the slight let-up in import of crude oil.

JULY-AUG TEXTILE EXPORTS RISE BY 20PC

Exports of textile manufactures leaped 20.64 per cent during July-August 2002, as compared to corresponding period of previous year.

Their export figures, according to the detailed data about foreign trade released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday, totalled $1.15 billion. Consequently, the manufactured textiles further improved their share in the exports of manufactured items from about 71 per cent to 73 per cent for the period under review.

The mercantile exports of Pakistan during the two-month period amounted to $1.71 billion 17.02 per cent more than the comparable period of previous year.

VALUE OF DUTIABLE IMPORTS UP

The value of dutiable imports up by 11.56 per cent to Rs70.936 billion during the first two months of the current financial year against Rs63.586 billion the same period last year.

Official figures released by Central Board of Revenue (CBR), on Wednesday showed that the value of total imports surged by 8.05 per cent to Rs116.442 billion during July-August (2002-03) as compared to Rs107.765 billion.

On the other hand, the value of duty-free imports stood at Rs45.50 against Rs44.17 billion the same period last year, an increase of 2.99 per cent.

The total revenue from the dutiable imports during July-August 2002-03 stood at Rs8.454 billion against Rs6.504 billion last year, an increase of 29.98 per cent.

TRADE GAP WITH SAARC SHRINKS

Trade deficit with Saarc countries fell by 52.84 per cent to $17.413 million in 2001-02 against $36.929 million during the financial year 2000-01.

Official figures, showed that Islamabad trade deficit with Bangladesh declined from $99.931 million in 2000-01 to $73.398 million in the year 2001-02, with India from $179.689 million to $137.294 million during the same period and with Sri Lanka it rose to $43.665 million in the year 2001-02 from $39.965 million in the year 2000-01.

CARPET EXPORTERS MEET RAZAK

Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood has said that a long-term strategy is being evolved to bring substantial growth in the export of hand-knotted carpets.

This he said at a meeting with the members of carpet manufacturers and exporters association on Wednesday, said an official announcement.

EXPORTERS SEEK STABLE CURRENCY RATE

Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood on Tuesday said that he would like to see the currency rate stabilizing instead of strengthening so that the exporters could plan export of their products.

He was asked whether he would advise the State Bank governor to intervene through the inter-bank market mechanism to contain strengthening of the rupee against dollar.

DIFFICULT YEAR FOR NWFP TRADE

The NWFP trade and business experienced further recession during the last one year failing to materialize hopes of getting benefit from the rehabilitation process undertaken in Afghanistan during the post-Sept 11 situation.

"In original, it appeared to be a really difficult year," said Bashir-ud-Din, a local trader involved in import and export business with Afghanistan.

The benefit, said Imtiaz Khalil, an industrialist, the local industrialists were expecting from the under progress reconstruction works in the war-ravaged Afghanistan could not be turned into reality.

COMMODITY TRADE AFFECTED

Pakistan's commodity trade was terribly disrupted after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon on Sept 11 last year, as the major business centres were in virtual turmoil and the consequent drying up of import and export channels for several weeks.

Pakistan's foreign trade also remained standstill for about four months as importers and exporters were more worried over the security problems rather than trading.