- Imports drop by 20.15% in July-November.
- 33.6% imports dip in November 2022.
- Services trade deficit receded by 38%.
ISLAMABAD: The country’s trade deficit in the first five months of ongoing fiscal year 2022-23 fell by 30.14% to $14.4 billion due to a drop in non-essential imports, The News reported Friday.
According to the monthly trade bulletin of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the imports in July-November dropped by 20.15% to $26.34 billion from $32.98 billion in the same period last year.
However, exports were also reduced by 3.5% in the same period to $11.93 billion against $12.36 billion in the same period last year, the PBS said Thursday.
Compared to November 2021, Pakistan imported 33.6% fewer goods and sold 18.3% fewer products abroad in November 2022. In November 2022, exports dropped by 18.34% to $2.37 billion from $2.9 billion in the same month in 2021, while imports dropped 33.6% to $5.245 billion from $7.9 billion in November 2021.
The trade deficit was narrowed by 42.46% to $2.88 billion from $4.99 billion in the same month last year.
A downward trend has been witnessed in the import bill since the beginning of the current fiscal year as imports fell by 10.4% in July, 7.7% in August, 19.7% in September, 27.2% in October and 33.6% in November over their respective corresponding months of 2021, PBS trade bulletin revealed.
Comparing monthly trade performance with the previous month (October), goods exports in November 2022 fell 0.63% from $2.38 billion last month, while imports increased 11.34% compared to October’s $4.7 billion.
Experts predict the export bill might not touch the $29 billion threshold in 2022-23. The average monthly exports in the first five months of the fiscal year are $2.386 billion. The export growth has been affected by local constraints and the slowdown of world economies. Economic policies such as costly bank financing, rupee devaluation, and expensive input costs alongside political instability have played a significant role in the export drop.
It is pertinent to mention that in the last fiscal 2021-22, the economy accumulated a record-high trade deficit of $48.38 billion, registering over a 31% upsurge over the fiscal year 2020-21.
Trade in Services
The PBS also issued economic performance data on trade in services with other countries. The services trade deficit receded by 38% to $812 million against $1.31 billion a year ago in the first four months of the fiscal year. From July to October, services exports increased by 3.97% to $2.26 billion, and imports dropped by 11.8% to $3.1 billion.
Services exports in October 2022 increased by 1.14% to $559 million, while imports dropped by 26% to $730 million against exports of $553 million and imports of $986 million in October 2021. Yearly, the services trade deficit lowered by 60.55% to $171 million in October 2022 against $433 million in October 2021.
PBS data shows that the services exports declined by 2.1% and imports by 1% over the previous month. In September 2022, Pakistan earned $571 million by selling its services abroad, while local businesses hired services worth $737 million from overseas service providers, registering a $166 million deficit.
PKR on track to become top-performing currency this month: Bloomberg
- Pakistani currency rose around 6% this month against dollar.
- Authorities curb leakages happening through illegal channels.
- Crackdown on illegal dollar traders helps local currency.
The Pakistani rupee is on track to become the top performer globally in September as the caretaker government continues its crackdown on illegal dollar trade, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
The local currency rose around 6% this month against the dollar — an amazing feat despite the Thai baht and South Korean won tumbling against the greenback.
Major currencies lost ground against the dollar on speculations that the US interest rates will stay elevated for longer.
The rupee increased 0.1% to 287.95 per dollar on Thursday, after sliding to a record low of about 307 this month. Pakistan’s currency market will remain closed for the Eid Miladun Nabi holiday on Friday.
“Many leakages were happening through illegal channels of hawala and hundi trade from the open market,” Khurram Schehzad, chief executive officer of Alpha Beta Core Solutions Pvt Ltd, told Bloomberg.
“When the dollar rate reverses everybody, the hoarders, the exporters who are holding their export proceeds, start selling their dollars,” Schehzad said.
The interim rulers have intensified efforts by launching a crackdown on people involved in the illegal dollar trade, allowing the currency to gain some lost ground.
The Federal Investigation Agency, Bloomberg reported, conducted raids across the country and security officials in plainclothes were deployed at money exchanges to monitor dollar sales as part of the crackdown.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar this week said the rupee’s gain is “fostering optimism for stability.”
For its part, the State Bank of Pakistan raised the capital requirements of smaller exchange companies and ordered large banks to open their own exchange companies to make the retail foreign exchange market more transparent and easier to monitor.
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inDrive now available in five more Pakistani cities
KARACHI: inDrive, a popular ride-hailing service in Pakistan, has now expanded its network to five more cities across Pakistan including Larkana, Kāmoke, Sheikhupura, Hafizabad, and Okara.
In a statement issued by the transport company, the inclusion of these cities reflects inDrive’s dedication to bringing innovative transportation options to both urban centres and suburban areas.
Speaking about the expansion, Senior Business Representative at inDrive Hasan Qureshi said: “We are excited to extend the convenience and reliability of inDrive to residents of Larkana, Kāmoke, Sheikhupura, Hafizabad, and Okara.”
“Our mission is to redefine transportation by providing safe, affordable, and accessible rides to everyone. With this expansion, we are not only enhancing the commuting experience but also contributing to the economic growth and empowerment of these communities.”
PR Manager Sidra Kiran said that their new service offers city residents the convenience of accessing transport from their homes, eliminating the need to search for it.
“Both drivers and passengers stand to gain significant benefits, including time-saving and the elimination of challenges associated with street hailing. This service addresses issues such as locating rides during odd hours like early mornings or late nights,” she stated.
She further added: “inDrive ride-hailing presents numerous benefits to drivers in small cities, including flexible opportunities, reduced unemployment, supplemental income, enhanced community connection, and positive contributions to the local economy.”
The launch of the company in these cities would benefit both riders and driver-partners.
inDrive further said that it remains committed to upholding the highest standards of safety, affordability, customer service, and technological innovation.
inDrive is Pakistan’s premier ride-hailing service and is revolutionising the way people travel. With a commitment to providing safe, affordable, and reliable transportation.
The company allowed riders to connect with nearby drivers with its app.
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