Pakistan’s six-month trade deficit clocks in at $16.9 billion

KARACHI: The July-December 2018 trade numbers were released on Thursday, where Pakistan’s exports were recorded at $11.1 billion, up 1.7 percent over last year while the country’s imports for the period were recorded at $28.1 billion, down by around 3.0 percent. Resultantly, the country’s trade deficit for the period July-December 2018 clocked in at $16.9 billion, down 5.6percent over last year.

For the month of December 2018, exports were $2 billion, up 4.0 percent over last year, while imports were $4.5 billion, down 8.0 percent. For the month of December 2018, the trade deficit settled at $2.4 billion, down a significant 17percent over last year.

“The improved trade numbers are primarily on the back of lower oil related imports. Furnace oil imports have reduced by 90 percent to only 300,000 tons during the period under review compared to 3.0 million tons during the corresponding period last year,” an analyst at Topline Securities said. This is because of government’s focus on alternate fuels for power generation i.e. LNG and coal. Similarly, Diesel imports are also down 36 percent to 1.4 million tons compared to 2.1 million tons last year.

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