Pakistan’s trade deficit grew to $39 billion in the first ten months of the current fiscal year, as imports grew at double the rate of exports.
According to the trade bulletin issued by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Friday, the $39.3 billion disparity between exports and imports for July-April was $11 billion higher than the estimate for fiscal year 2021-22, which still has two months left.
According to the PBS, the 10-month trade imbalance was $15.4 billion, or more than two-thirds more than the same time the previous year.
The central bank’s foreign currency reserves have been declining steadily, reaching $10.5 billion at the end of last month — insufficient to cover two months’ worth of imports.
Imports climbed by nearly half to $65.5 billion in July-April FY22. According to the PBS, imports increased by $20.8 billion in absolute terms.
To relieve the strain on imports, the central bank imposed a cash margin requirement (CMR) for goods imports as well as restricting consumer financing. To make imports more expensive, the currency was depreciated by more than 50%.
According to the PBS, exports increased by one-fourth in the first ten months of the current fiscal year, reaching $26.2 billion from $21 billion the previous year. The value of exports increased by $5.2 billion.
The Ministry of Commerce now predicts that total exports will reach $31 billion for the fiscal year, much more than initial projections and the first time exports will exceed $30 billion.
According to the PBS, imports were $6.6 billion in April 2022, up $1.4 billion (or 26 percent) over the same month the previous year.
According to PBS, goods exports totaled $2.9 billion last month, up nearly 30%, or $655 million, over the same month the previous year.
Exports grew 3.2 percent month over month to $2.9 billion in April 2022, an increase of $91 million over March 2022. Imports also increased by 3%, or $190 million, month over month.
As a result, the trade deficit increased to $3.7 billion in April, an increase of over 3%, or $99 million, month over month.