Oil import bill surges to $7.697b in 6 months

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ISLAMABAD - The cash starved government spent huge amount of $7.697 billion on oil imports in just six months (July-December) of the current financial year (2012-2013) as petroleum products’ demand increased owing to loadshedding of CNG throughout the country.

Analysts said that severe energy crisis in the country and lower capacity operations of refineries pushed the oil import bill upwards. They said that rise in imports of finished products was due to high demand for energy generation. They further said that oil import bill might further increase in December and January. According to the figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the country’s petroleum products import has shown an increase of 1.15 per cent in one year, as it imported oil worth of $7.697 billion in July-December of the ongoing financial year against $7.610 billion of July-December of the last year 2011-2012.

Analysts said that the country should ensure energy supply through own resources; otherwise the oil import bill would affect the country’s fiscal position. “As gas supply situation in the country is not expected to improve in the near future, the oil import bill will continue to mount pressure both on value and volumetric basis,” an analyst said.

The break-up of $7.697 billion oil import bill revealed that country spent $4.920 billion on petroleum products and $2.777 billion on import on petroleum crude during the first six months of ongoing financial year.

The PBS figures revealed that country imported food stuff worth of $2.157 billion during July-December of the year 2012-13. The break-up of $2.157 billion revealed that import bill of milk products was up by 3.20 per cent, dry fruits and nuts 1.02pc, import of tea increased by 6.46 per cent, import of spices decreased by 30.06 per cent, soyabean oil’s imports went up by 26.47 per cent, palm oil import decreased by 18.92 per cent, sugar import declined by 78 per cent, import of pulses went down by 12.76 per cent and import of all other food items decreased by 24.80 per cent during the period under review.

Meanwhile, according to PBS figures, the country imported machinery worth of $2.907 billion. Transport group imports stood at $951 million, textile group $1.115 billion, agricultural and other chemicals $3.136 billion, metal group $1.529 billion, miscellaneous group imports were recorded at $402 million and all other items imports remained $ 2.026 billion during July-December period of 2012-13 against July-December period of 2011-12.

It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan’s overall imports were recorded to $21.922 billion in July-December period of ongoing financial year as compared to $22.678 billion of the corresponding period last year.

 

Courtesy: The Nation


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