As per the data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics for the month of Feb’19, trade deficit during the month stands at USD 2.29bn, down by 20% YoY and 7% MoM. Exports for Feb’19 settled at USD 1.89bn, remained flat on yearly basis while down by 8% MoM due to fewer working days in February, coupled with escalation of Indo-Pak crisis which resulted in closure of air space and lesser activity on ports.
On the other hand, imports plummeted by 12% YoY and 7% MoM to USD 4.18bn due to lower imports of petroleum product which dominated one third of total import and remaining from transport, machinery and textile. The decline in volumetric oil imports is on the back of change in power generation mix from FO to RLNG along with lower demand of retail fuel given slowdown in economic activity.
During 8MFY19, trade deficit clocked in at USD 21.5bn, down by 11% YoY compared to USD 24.2bn in 8MFY18.
This improvement in trade balance is due to slight growth in exports of 2% YoY to USD 15.1bn, whereas imports witnessed a decline of 6% YoY to USD 36.6bn. Meanwhile, the incumbent government’s efforts have started bearing fruits as imports declined by 6% after drastic currency depreciation of 21% YoY and hike in regulatory and custom duties.