Pakistan’s trade deficit in the fiscal year 2017-18 has soared to an alarming figure of $37.7 billion, compared to a deficit of $32.5 billion in the previous fiscal, increasing by about 16% during this time frame.
This is the highest trade deficit ever recorded in Pakistan’s history and comes about despite the massive currency devaluations witnessed throughout the year.
Trade deficit in the month of June 2018 was reported at $3.8 billion, according to data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics released on Wednesday. This is an increase of about 3.7% compared to the trade deficit of $3.67 billion in the month before (May). However, compared to the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, the deficit demonstrated an enormous increase of about 46%.
Imports were reported at $60.9 billion in the fiscal year 2018, compared to $52.9 billion in the previous fiscal, increasing by about 15%. This increase should be no surprise given the rising trend in oil prices and the place of petroleum imports that make up about a quarter of Pakistan’s import portfolio.
Exports on the other hand increased by about 13.7% after jumping to $23.2 billion as compared to $20.4 billion during the last fiscal.
The massive gap between imports and exports has taken a heavy toll on the country’s foreign exchange reserves that are down to a single digit.
In the month of June alone, imports were reported at $5.7 billion, declining slightly by imports worth $5.8 billion in the month before (May). However, compared to the corresponding month of the previous fiscal (June 2017), imports were up by about 26.2%.
Exports in the month of June 2018 were reported at $1.89 billion, declining by 12% compared to exports of $2.14 billion in the previous month (May). The decline in exports was however only marginal when compared with exports in the corresponding month of the previous fiscal year (June 2017) when exports were reported at $1.9 billion.