KARACHI: Trade deficit has been narrowed by $1 billion or 5.6 percent during first half of fiscal year 2018-2019.
As per statistics the country’s exports 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 percent.
For the month of December 2018, exports were $2 billion, up 4 percent over last year, while imports were $4.5 billion, down 8 percent.
Resultantly, the country’s trade deficit for the period Jul-December 2018 recorded at $16.9 billion, down 5.6 percent or $1bn over last year, analysts at Topline Securities said.
For the month of Dec 2018, the trade deficit settled at $2.4 billion, down a significant 17 percent or $500 million 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 1HFY19 compared to 3 million tons during the corresponding period last year.
This is because of government’s focus on alternate fuels for power generation (RLNG and coal).
Similarly, Diesel imports are also down 36 percent to 1.4 million tons compared to 2.1mn tons last year.
On a monthly basis, December 2018 trade deficit of $2.4 billion is down by 13 percent or $356 million over November 2018.
This could result in a less than $1bn Current Account Deficit (CAD) for December 2018 (November 2018 CAD was reported at $1.3 billion).
The analysts estimated FY19 CAD at $10-12 billion compared to $18 billion during FY18.