POL import bill up 6.7 percent to $9.6 bln in 8 months

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ISLAMABAD, Mar 24 (APP):The overall imports of petroleum group witnessed 6.7 percent increase during the eight months of the current fiscal year as compared to the corresponding period of the last year.
During the period under review, the total imports of petroleum group stood at $ 9618.584 million against imports of $9014.937 million of the year 2017-18, according to latest data issued by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
The products that contribute in inflated petroleum import bill included, crude oil, the imports of which surged by 21.10 percent as $ 3036.295 million were spent on purchase of the commodity from international markets in first eight months of the year 2018-19 as compared to spending of $2507.187 million spent during the same period of the previous year.
The import of liquefied natural gas also witnessed a sharp increase of 57.84 percent to $2188.695 million during the period under review against import of $1386.647 million in same period of last year.
On the other hand, the petroleum products import during the period under review however decreased by 14.27 percent as it declined to $4211.221 million from $4912.448 million recorded during July-December (2017-18).
The imports of liquefied petroleum gas also decreased by 12.63 percent, form $208.483 million to $182.162 million during the current year.
Meanwhile, on year on year basis, the imports of petroleum products witnessed a decrease of 16.7 percent in February 2019 when compared to the imports of the same month of last year.
The petroleum group imports during February 2019 were recorded at $930.819 million against the imports of $1117.444 million last year.
On month-on-month basis, the petroleum group imports also slid by 8.99 percent in February when compared to the imports of $1022.747 million in January 2019, the data revealed.
It is pertinent to mention here that the country’s merchandize trade deficit plunged by 11.03 percent during July-February (2018-19) as the deficit contracted by over $2.668 billion to $21.523 billion during July-February (2018-19) against the deficit of $24.191 billion recorded during same period of the previous year.
The exports during the period under review witnessed an increase of 1.85 percent to $15.113 billion from $14.838 billion during July-February (2017-18).
On the other hand, the imports declined by 6.13 percent to $36.636 billion from $39.029 billion recorded during first eight months of current fiscal year, the data revealed.