Pakistan: Fuel imports plunge 28pc in FY20

Petroleum imports declined 27.84 per cent in FY20 owing to a steep reduction in domestic demand as a result of lockdowns across the country.

It is estimated that petroleum consumption since March 22 has fallen significantly since the full lockdown was enforced and private transport came to a standstill.

Data compiled by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed the total import bill of fuel group dipped by 27.84pc year-on-year to $10.42bn. Of these, petroleum product imports declined by 24.54pc in value despite increasing by 3.7pc in quantity.

Similarly, import of crude oil decreased 40.44pc in value and 24.54pc in quantity during the outgoing fiscal year while those of Liquefied Natural Gas fell by 20.21pc in value, which would have translated into a relatively lower power production through this fuel.

On the other hand, liquefied petroleum gas imports jumped 17.63pc in value in FY20, largely to plug a shortage in local production.

On a monthly basis, import of oil group plunged by over 53pc in June to $613.130 million as against $1.306bn over the corresponding period last year.

The fall in imports of crude also translated into lower production of petroleum products by local refineries.

As a result, exports of petroleum products were down 42.74pc year-on-year in July-June FY20. Similarly, petroleum crude exports tumbled 34.88pc in value while those of petroleum products (excluding top naptha) dipped 68.13pc.

In addition, the export of petroleum top naphtha fell by 27.17pc during the year.

The dip in local petroleum production and exports from the country has dragged down economic growth as the oil import bill also witnessed a double-digit decline.

Machinery imports dipped 1.56pc to $8.782bn from $8.921bn last year led by a surge in electrical and telecom machinery. The import of electrical machinery and apparatus posted growth of 26.41pc. The import of power generating machinery up by 8.74pc during the year under review.

In the telecommunication group, imports increased by 34.88pc to $1.86bn in FY20, led by mobile handsets higher by 81.32pc to $1.369bn from $755.548m. This surge was the result of a crackdown on smuggling and doing away with free imports in baggage schemes.

Import of other apparatus decreased by 31.36pc. However, the import of office machinery dropped by 12.88pc, respectively. Early harvest of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects and cut in the Public Sector Development Programme spending contributed to the low machinery import bill.

The overall transport group also witnessed negative growth. The import of motor vehicle dropped by over 49.90pc during July-June FY20.The agriculture machinery imports shrank 30.69pc.

A contraction of 21.48pc was seen in imports of textile group — raw cotton, synthetic fibre, synthetic and artificial silk yarn, worn cloths; and another 18.42pc in imports of all metals.

The overall food group import declined by 29.22pc during FY20 mainly due to imposition of regulatory duties on proceeds foods.

The import of spices and pulses posted growth of 6.96pc and 21.47pc, respectively.
Source: Dawn

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