Pakistan’s trade deficit ballooned to $20.83 billion during 9MFY21, an increase of 20.05 percent compared to a deficit of $17.35 billion from the corresponding period last year.
For the month of March 2021, the trade deficit recorded was $3.2 billion compared to the $2.6 billion in February 2021 according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics data. Even though the Month-on-Month exports increased by 14.17 percent, the imports increased MoM by 21.8 percent as well, offsetting the increase in exports.
Meanwhile, exports increased on monthly basis to $2.361bn as compared to $ 2.068bn in February 2021. Whereas, imports in March 2021 witnessed a rise to $5.632bn as compared to $ 4.623bn in February 2021.
Read More: Trade deficit rises to $2.968bn in March
Compared to March 2020, the same month this year saw the trade deficit increase by 118.36 percent, from $1.5 billion to $3.3 billion YoY.
Exports in March 2021 increased by 30.44 percent as compared to $ 1.810bn recorded in March 2020. Whereas imports increased by 70.25pc when compared to March 2020.
Overall, the exports during the first nine months of the current fiscal stood at $ 18.685bn compared to $ 17.443bn from the corresponding period of last year, showing a rise of 7.12pc. Whereas imports during the first nine months stood at $ 39.512bn compared to $ 34.791bn, an increase of 13.57pc from the same period of FY20, again offsetting the increase in exports.
According to Abdul Razak Dawood, the commerce advisor to the Prime Minister, the increase in import of raw material as well as the import of wheat, sugar, and cotton is what has led to the rise in the import bill.
compared to USD 34.817 billion in the last FY. This growth has come from increase in import of raw material as well as import of wheat, sugar and cotton.
— Abdul Razak Dawood (@razak_dawood) April 1, 2021
The continuously declining imports in the last two years had given the government some room to manage the external accounts. But the government would now face a tough time as the rising import bill is bound to create pressures on the external side, increasing Pakistan’s trade deficit at a time when the
- According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the trade deficit for the month of March 2021 was recorded at $ 3.271bn, showing a month-on-month increase of 28.02 percent as compared to a deficit of $2.555bn recorded in February 2021.
country is surviving on foreign debt.
However, it is believed that the growth in the remittances at the moment would be sufficient to finance the import bill.