The food import bill in the first seven months of 2020-2019 stood at $ 4.64 billion, with an increase of 51.9% from the previous year following an increase in the trade deficit by more than planned.
According to data compiled by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the share of food products in the total import bill rose from 11.16% to 15.84% last year, forcing the country to rely on imports. to ensure food security. .
It is believed that the prices of some products in the international market are falling, which will lead to a reduction in import inflation in the country.
However, the trade deficit is widening as the country’s gross import bill has increased since November 2020, mainly due to an increase in the food import bill. Reached 0.3 27.31 billion in the same months last year.
The invoice for food and beverage imports for all products, during the examination, indicated an increase in its value and quantity, which is a clear indication of a shortage of domestic production.
The main contributors to the Food Group’s imports have been wheat, sugar, edible oils, spices, tea and legumes. Imports of edible oils, in terms of quantity, price and price, increased sharply during this period.
In the first seven months of this year, palm oil imports rose 36.59 percent to $ 1.3 billion, from $ 1 billion in the same period last year. Imports of palm oil increased 9.7 percent.
The price of vegetable ghee and cooking oil for domestic consumers has increased in recent months. The Ministry of Finance has already ordered the Ministry of Industry to take action against oil producers to control prices for domestic consumers. Raise this problem together.
However, soybean oil imports increased by 10.39 percent and prices by 13.96 percent, respectively.
In the first seven months of this year, Pakistan imported more than 2.9 million tonnes of wheat worth $ 794.59 million, compared with no imports last year.
The federal government has also hinted at creating buffer stocks on more wheat imports to avoid shortages in the local market.
Likewise, in the first seven months of this year, sugar imports amounted to 278,482 tonnes compared to 3,744 tonnes last year, an increase of 7,338 percent. The purpose of importing sugar was to reduce its price in the local market so that the supply and fill the demand gap.
The Federal Cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee approved the importation of 500,000 tonnes of refined sugar and 300,000 tonnes of raw sugar to sugar factories to transport surpluses into the country.
Imports of tea rose 22.17% in the first seven months of this year, while spices rose 30.56%.
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The main reasons for this increase are the reduction in imports of these products in transit trade and the control of smuggling in border areas.
The import bill for pulses, dried fruits, dairy products and other food products has risen sharply in recent months.