ISLAMABAD  -   The country’s food group trade deficit shrank by 25.6 percent to $972.068 million during first half of current fiscal year compared to trade deficit of $1.3 billion recorded during same period of previous year.

The food group import during July-December (2018-19) recorded a decline of 8.49 percent as it fell to $2.967 billion as compared to the import of $3.242 billion during same period of previous year, latest data issued by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) said.

Similarly the export of food group from the country recorded an increase of 3.09 percent as it rose to $1.995 billion against the export of $1.935 billion during July-December (2017-18).

The export of fruits surged to $222.164 million in the corresponding period of current fiscal year from $180.146 million during same period of last year, showing an increase of 23.32 percent. Similarly export of vegetables also recorded a sharp increase of 42.55 percent as it rose to $90.823 million from $63.712 million in Jul-Dec (2017-18).

The wheat export also increased sharply to $97.237 million during the period under review as compared to the export of only $45,000.

The spices export increased by 10.15 percent to $40.198 million from $36.492 million, whereas export of oil, seeds, nuts, and kernals posted an increase of 157.91 percent as it increased from $22.005 million to $56.7 million in Jul-Dec (2018-19).

The export of rice however decreased by 2.43 percent to $828.968 million against the export of $849.634 million in same period of last year, while export of fish and fish preparations also fell to $183.691 million compared to export of $200.621 million, showing a decline of 8.44 percent, the data revealed.

Meanwhile, import of milk, cream and milk food decreased by 16.71 percent to $104.44 million from $125.389 million in July-December (2017-18), whereas import of dry fruits and nuts also plunged by 75.31 percent as it fell from $87.217 million last year to $21.532 million this year.

The import of palm oil also decreased by 10.19 percent to $931.659 million during the period under review from $1.037 billion in same period of last year.