ISLAMABAD  -   The food exports from the country witnessed decreased of 4.61 percent by going down to $4272.750 million during the first 11 months of the ongoing fiscal year compared to the exports of $4479.357 million during the corresponding period of fiscal year 2017-18, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported.

The food commodities that contributed in negative growth of food group trade included, vegetables, exports of which decreased by 3.37 percent, from US $ 228.894 million during July-May (2017-18) to US $ 221.180 million during July-May (2018-19).

The exports of fish and fish preparations also decreased from US $ 423.977 million to US $ 406.565 million, showing decline of 4.11 percent during the period under review while the exports of tobacco decreased by 17.87 percent, from US $ 25.206 million to US $ 20.701 million.

Wheat exports decreased by 35.42 percent, from US $ 222.089 million to US $ 143.417 million whereas the exports of sugar also decreased by 62.23 percent, from US $473.915 million last year to US $178.978 million during the current fiscal year, the PBS data revealed.

Meanwhile, the food products that witnessed positive growth in external trade included fruits, exports of which increase by 4.34 percent to US $393.945 million from US $377.558 million whereas the rice exports increased by 1.99 percent, from US $1927.410 million to US $1889.858 million.

The exports of spices increased from US $74.333 million to US $83.081 million, an increase of 11.77 percent while the exports of oil seeds, nuts and kernels increased by 101.32 percent, from US $36.322 million to US $73.125 million.

The exports of all other food items also witnessed growth of 16.56 percent by going up from US $519.184 million last year to US $605.161 million.

Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the food exports from the country declined by 8.40 percent from US $508.350 million in May 2018 to US $465.644 million.

On month-on-month basis, the exports from the country witnessed positive growth of 1.45 percent in May 2019 when compared to the exports of US $459.002 million in April 2019.

It is pertinent to mention here that the the country’s merchandize trade deficit plunged by 13.62 per cent during the first eleven months of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year.

The trade deficit contracted by 13.62 per cent to US $29.207 billion during July-May (2018-19) against the deficit of US $33.812 billion recorded during July-May (2017-18).

The exports during the period under review witnessed nominal decrease of 0.3% by falling from US $21.330 billion during last year to US $21.267 billion during the ongoing fiscal year.

On the other hand, the imports declined by 8.47 per cent to US $50.474 billion during the period under review from US $55.142 billion last year, the data revealed.

On year-on-year basis, the exports declined by 1.72 per cent, from US $2.139 billion in May 2018 to US $2.102 billion in May 2019 while the imports declined by 12.8 percent from US $5.782 billion in May 2018 to US $5.042 billion in May 2019, the data revealed.