Food imports down by 11.91% in current year


Food imports into the country shrunk by 11.91 percent during the first nine months of the current fiscal year (2012-13) as compared to the corresponding period last year.
Imports stood at $3.35 billion during July-March (2012-13) against a figure $3.8 billion under the same head during July-March (2011-12), according to latest data from Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
Major food items that contributed in negative growth of imports included milk, cream and milk food for infants, imports of which declined from $121.776 million last year to $100.383 million in current year, falling by 17.57 percent.
Similarly, imports of dry fruits and nuts decreased by 8.35 percent, falling from $ 63.291 million to $ 58.008 million while imports of spices decreased by 33.14 percent, going down from $ 77.525 million to $ 51.834 million.
During the period under review, palm oil imports decreased by 10.17 percent, going down from $1.72 billion last year to $1.543 billion during the current year while import of sugar decreased from $13.34 million to $3.66 million, showing a sharp decline of 72.57 percent.
The imports of pulses (leguminous vegetables) decreased by 4.68 percent from $282.366 million to $269.155 million while imports of other food items declined by 19.38 percent.
The food products that witnessed a positive growth included tea, imports of which increased by 9.13 percent, going up from $271.674 million to $296.466 million, while the imports of soyabean oil increased from $41.954 million to $49.133 million, showing a growth of 17.11 percent.
On a month-on-month basis, food imports in March 2013 also decreased by 16.29 percent and 24.45 percent, compared to the imports during March 2012 and February 2013, respectively.