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Pakistan: Oil imports soar 10 percent to $8.6 billion in July-January

Oil imports soared 10.01 percent to $8.687 billion during the first seven months of the current fiscal year of 2018/19 as liquefied natural gas and crude shipments increased during the period, official data showed on Saturday.

Oil imports amounted to $7.897 billion in the July-January period of the last fiscal year, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data revealed. Imports of crude oil increased 27.15 percent to $2.708 billion in the first seven months of the current fiscal year. In terms of quantity, crude imports, however, decreased 10.46 percent to 5.313 million tons. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports sharply rose 74.68 percent to $1.973 billion during the period under review.

In July-January, import of other petroleum products, including furnace oil, however fell 13.37 percent to $3.853 billion as the government shifted its fuel priority for power generation to LNG from furnace oil.

Furnace oil sales sharply decreased 67 percent to 1.454 million tons in the July-December period. Oil sales, excluding furnace oil, also declined 15 percent to 7.725 million tons during the first half of the current fiscal year.

“After FO, largest decline was seen in diesel, which fell 22 percent due to availability of smuggled Iranian diesel and slowdown in economy,” analyst Shankar Talreja at brokerage Topline Securities said in a report.

PBS data showed that import of liquefied petroleum gas declined 19.66 percent to $152.612 million during the period under review.

In January, imports of petroleum group fell 16.33 percent year-on-year and decreased 9.51 percent month-on-month to $1.022 billion.

In July-January, imports of fertiliser, insecticides, plastic materials, medicinal products and other agricultural merchandises increased 5.14 percent to $5.249 billion. Fertiliser imports rose 18.16 percent to $656.475 million during the period under review. In January, imports under the head decreased 6.85 percent year-on-year and 7.65 percent month-on-month to $665.178 million.

Machinery imports, during the period, fell 21.38 percent to $5.244 billion in the July-January period as energy sector projects that started under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor framework five years back came to maturity.

Imports of power generation machineries slid 54.34 percent to $730.547 million during the seven-month period, while imports of electrical machinery and appliances dropped 16.74 percent to $1.044 billion.

In January, machinery group’s imports fell 34.21 percent year-on-year and rose 1.73 percent month-on-month to $764.441 million.

PBS data further showed that food import bills shrank 8.29 percent to $3.464 billion in the July-January period. Palm oil imports decreased 8.91 percent to $1.100 billion. Its imports, however, increased 11.07 percent to 1.801 million tons in terms of quantity.

Imports of metals, including gold, iron and steel and aluminum fell 1.93 percent to $2.990 billion during the first seven months of the current fiscal year. Imports of cars, motorcycles and other transportation goods sharply declined 28.87 percent to $1.826 billion. Textile imports, including raw cotton and artificial silk, decreased 8.95 percent to $1.568 billion during the period under review.

Total imports bill, in July-January, stood at $32.495 billion, marginally down 5.17 percent over the corresponding period a year earlier.
Source: The News Pakistan

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