ISLAMABAD   -   The country’s food imports dropped by 9.85% to $4.7 billion in first 10 months of current fiscal year against the imports of $5.216 billion recorded during same period of the year 2017-18. The detail shows that import of palm oil witnessed a sharp decrease of 10.99% during July-April (2018-19) as it went down to $1.54 billion from $1.73 billion in July-April (2017-18).

Similarly, import of pulses also fell to $432.54 million in the corresponding period of current fiscal year against the import worth of $442.7 million in same period of last year thus showing a decrease of 2.3%.

According to trade data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the tea import however recorded a nominal increase of 0.61% as the country imported $495.957 million worth of tea during first 10 months of current fiscal year while during same period of last year, the tea import stood at $492.966 million.

The import of milk, cream and milk food also witnessed a decline of 10% to $199 million from $221.26 million in same period of last year, whereas the import of dry fruits and nuts also plunged to $37.89 million in July-April (2018-19) against the import worth of $97.1 million in same period of the preceding year.

Spices’ import during the period under review stood at $129.3 million against $136.8 million worth of import during same period of last year thus showing a decline of 5.5%. Likewise, the import of soybean oil also declined sharply by 34.3% to $79.12 million from $120.4 million while the import of sugar decreased by 25.46% to $3.24 million against the import worth of $4.35 million in July-April (2017-18).

The import of other miscellaneous food commodities also went down by 9.41% to $1.786 billion in first 10 months of current fiscal year against the import of $1.97 billion in same period of last year.

On yearly basis, the import of food commodities and products dropped to $441.088 million in April 2019 against $485.86 million in same month of last year, showing a decrease of 9.22% whereas on monthly basis the import showed a growth of 12.3% as the imports during March 2019 stood at $392.824 million.

Pakistan imported tea worth $495.957 million during July-April (2018-19) against the imports of $492.966 million during July-April (2017-18), according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

In terms of quantity, the tea imports into the country during the period under review increased by 18.36 percent by going up from the imports of 161,789 metric tons to 191,497 metric tons.

On year-on-year basis, the tea imports into the country witnessed an increase of 19.22 percent during the month of April 2019 compared to the same month of last year.

The tea imports into the country were recorded at $50.140 million in April 2019 compared to the imports of $42.058 million in April 2018, the PBS data revealed.

On month-on-month basis, the tea imports, however decreased by 4.01 percent in April 2019 when compared to the imports of $52.232 million in March 2019.

The overall food imports into the country witnessed decrease of 9.85 percent during the first ten months of the current fiscal year compared to the last year.

The total food imports into the country were recorded at $4702.440 million during the current year against the imports of $5216.454 million during last year, the data revealed.

It is pertinent to mention here that the country’s merchandize trade deficit plunged by 12.82 percent during the first ten months of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year.

The trade deficit contracted by $3.867 billion to $26.302 billion during July-April (2018-19) against the deficit of $30.169 billion recorded during July-April (2017-18).

The exports during the period under review witnessed nominal decrease of 0.12% by falling from $19.191 billion during last year to $19.169 billion during the ongoing fiscal year.On the other hand, the imports declined by 7.88% to $45.471 billion during the period under review from $49.360 billion last year, the data revealed../395/