Trade deficit widens by 6.44 per cent to $12.42 billion in first half

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ISLAMABAD   –  Pakistan’s trade deficit has widened by 6.44 percent in first half (July to December) of the current financial year due to the increase in the country’s imports.

The country’s trade imbalance was recorded at $12.42 billion in July to December period of FY2020-21 as against $11.76 billion in same period of the previous year, showing an increase of 6.44 percent, according to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Exports and imports both have increased. However, imports have enhanced slightly higher than the exports.

The latest data of PBS showed that Pakistan has imported goods worth $24.52 billion in first half of the ongoing fiscal year, which were at $23.2 billion in same period of previous year. Import bill of the country has enhanced by 5.72 percent. Meanwhile, the country’s exports have surged by 4.98 percent to $12.1 billion in July to December period of the year 2020-21 as compared to $11.5 billion in corresponding period of last year. Therefore, the trade deficit has widened to $12.42 billion in July to December period of 2020-21.

According to the PBS data, the country’s exports have registered growth of 18.31 percent in the month of December 2020. The country has exported goods worth $2.35 billion in December 2020 as compared to $1.99 billion in the same period of the previous year. The government has claimed that this was highest exports ever in the month of December. Pakistan’s exports were higher in December as compared to the neighbouring countries. 

Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed satisfaction over the positive trend in the country’s exports. “I have received the regional export trends and this shows that, compared to our exports, the exports of India and Bangladesh for Nov/Dec 2020 showed negative growth,” he said. Pakistan’s exports had shown increase of 18.3 percent and 8.32 percent in November and December respectively. Meanwhile, exports of India have fallen by 9.07 percent and 0.8 percent in November and December respectively. Similarly, Bangladesh’s exports have also shown negative growth in last two months. The Prime Minister once again congratulated the exporters and the Ministry of Commerce for enhancement in country’s exports.

An increasing trend has been witnessed in the export of value-added and non-traditional products that helped in increasing Pakistan’s exports last month. Exports of value-added and non-traditional products have increased including tobacco & cigarettes (212.2 per cent), ethyl alcohol (128.6 per cent), stockings & socks (49.8 per cent), home textiles (38.1 per cent), women’s garments (37.8 per cent), jerseys & cardigans (37.3 per cent), gloves (25.5 per cent), T-shirts (16.9 per cent), rice (15.5 per cent) and fruits & vegetables (13.4 per cent) as compared to December 2019.

Meanwhile, the imports have enhanced by around 25.25 percent. Imports were recorded at $5.04 billion in last month, which were around $4.02 billion in the same month of the previous year. The increase in imports and exports has resulted in swelling in trade deficit by 32.04 percent during the month of December this year. Pakistan’s trade deficit was recorded at $2.68 billion in the month of December 2020 as compared to $2.03 billion in the same month of previous year.

 

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