ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports have declined by 5.8 per cent in the first half (July – December) of fiscal year 2022-2023, according to official trade data released on Tuesday.
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) revealed that the exports of the country were declined to $14.25 billion during first six months of the current fiscal year as compared with $15.13 billion in the corresponding months of the last fiscal year.
The import bill of the country also fell by 22.63 billion to $31.38 billion during first half of the current fiscal year as compared with $40.56 billion in the corresponding half of the last fiscal year.
The import and export performance resulted in contraction of trade deficit by 32.65 per cent. The trade deficit narrowed to $17.13 billion during July – December 2022 as compared with the deficit of $25.44 billion.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) recently withdrew the condition of prior permission for the bank in opening of letter of credit for import payments.
Experts believed that this would escalate the import bill in coming months.
The government imposed a ban on import of luxury and non-essential items in May 2022. At the same time the SBP also issued instruction to banks to restrict opening of LCs on import of various goods.
The government lifted the ban on import of goods in August 2022 but the SBP kept the ban of prior approval for proceeding import payments. Now this condition has also been lifted.
However, despite lifting the condition the banks are in difficult position because scarcity of dollars. The fall in exports and foreign remittances the commercial banks are unable to arrange dollars for import payments.
The exports of the country fell 3.64 per cent to $2.3 billion in the month of December 2022 when compared with $2.39 billion in the previous month of November 2022.
Meanwhile, the import bill for the month of December 2022 slightly declined to $5.16 billion when compared with $5.18 billion in the previous month.
This resulted in widening of trade deficit by 2.36 per cent in the month of December 2022. The trade deficit for the month under review was $2.857 billion when compared with the deficit of 2.79 billion in the month of November 2022.