Food imports up by 2.68pc in 3 quarters

Islamabad—The food imports into the country increased by 2.68 percent during the first three quarters of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year. The food imports into the country during July-March (2015-16) were recorded at $3.983 compared to the imports of $3.835 million during July-March (2014-15), according to latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). During the period under review, the imports of milk, cream and milk food increased by 2.44 percent, from $188.655 million to $193.254 million.
The imports of dry fruits and nuts were recorded at $105.048 million compared to the imports of $81.783 million, showing an increase of 28.45 percent. Imports of tea increased from $262.397 million to $403.923 million, showing growth of 53.94 percent while the imports of spices grew from $74.021 to $105.734 million, an increase of 42.84 percent. The imports of soyabean oil increased by 303 percent by going up from $37.318 million last year to $150.645 during the current year while the imports of pulses (leguminous vegetable) increased by 56.24 percent by going up from $284.426 million to $444.388 million.
The food products that witnessed negative growth in imports during the period under review included wheat unmilled, which grew by 100 percent from $ 185.299 last year to zero imports during the current year. Imports of palm oil decreased by 7.36 percent by declining from $1.339 billion last year to $1.241 billion this year. Likewise, the imports of sugar decreased by 7.71 percent by going down from $5.549 million to $5.038 million, the data revealed.
Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the food imports during March 2016 increased by 23.66 percent compared to same month of last year while on month-on-month basis, the imports increased by 6.07 percent during the month under review. It is pertinent to mention here that imports into the country declined by 4.22 percent during the first three quarters of the current fiscal year as compared to the corresponding period of last year.
Imports into the country during the period were recorded at $32.515 billion, compared to the imports of $33.948 billion during last year The exports also witnessed negative growth of 12.92 percent by falling from $17.921 billion last year to $15.606 billion during the current year. Based on the figures, the overall trade deficit during the period under review was recorded at $16.909 billion compared to the deficit of $16.027 billion last year, showing increase of 5.50 percent.—APP

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