ISLAMABAD: The food imports into the country has increased by 2.68 percent during the first three quarters of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year.
The food imports into the country during July-March (2015-16) were recorded at $3.98 compared to the imports of $3.835 million during July-March (2014-15), according to latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
During the period under review, the imports of milk, cream and milk food increased by 2.44 percent, from $188.65 million to $193.25 million. The imports of dry fruits and nuts were recorded at $105.04 million compared to the imports of $81.783 million, showing an increase of 28.45 percent.
Import of tea increased from $262.39 million to $403.92 million, showing growth of 53.94 percent while the import of spices grew from $74.02 to $105.73 million, an increase of 42.84 percent. The import of soybean oil increased by 303 percent by going up from $37.318 million last year to $150.64 during the current year while the import of pulses (leguminous vegetable) increased by 56.24 percent by going up from $284.42 million to $444.38 million.
The food products that witnessed negative growth in imports during the period under review included wheat (un-milled), which grew by 100 percent from $185.29 last year to zero import during the current year. Imports of palm oil decreased by 7.36 percent by declining from $1.33 billion last year to $1.24 billion this year.
Likewise, the imports of sugar decreased by 7.71 percent by going down from $5.54 million to $5.03 million, the data revealed.
Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the food imports during March increased by 23.66 percent compared to same month of last year while on month-on-month basis, the imports surged by 6.07 percent during the month under review.
It is pertinent to mention that imports into the country declined by 4.22 percent during the first three quarters of the current fiscal year as compared to the corresponding period of last year. Imports into the country during the period were recorded at $32.515 billion, compared to the imports of $33.94 billion last year
The exports also witnessed negative growth of 12.92 percent by falling from $17.92 billion last year to $15.60 billion during the current year.
Based on the figures, the overall trade deficit during the period under review was recorded at $16.90 billion compared to the deficit of $16.02 billion last year, showing increase of 5.50 percent.