The imports of food products into the country decreased by 16.17 per cent during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (2015-16) compared to imports during the same period last year.
The overall import of food products stood at $1.198 billion in July-September (2015-16) compared to imports of $1.430 billion in July-September (2014-15), showing negative growth of 16.17 per cent, according to the trade data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
Among the food products, the major decline was recorded in the trade of wheat (unmilled).
The data revealed that there has been no import of wheat during the current year compared to the imports of $74.850 million during the last fiscal year.
The other products that witnessed negative growth in trade included palm oil, imports of which decreased from $481.689 million last year to $437.783 million during the current year, showing decline of 9.12 per cent.
Meanwhile, imports of milk, cream and milk for infants increased by 7.53 per cent from $54.726 last year to $58.846 million this year whereas the imports of dry fruits and nuts increased from $25.486 million to $32.477 million, showing positive growth of 27.43 per cent.
Imports of tea and spices also increased by 45.38 per cent and 33.38 per cent respectively during the period under review. The tea imports into the country increased from $83.477 million to $121.360 million whereas the imports of spices increased from $23.900 million to $31.879 million.
Imports of soyabean oil increased from $32.218 million in the first quarter of last fiscal year to $36.951 million during the current year, showing increase of 14.69 per cent.
According to the PBS data, imports of sugar increased by 165.61 per cent during the period under review from $1.073 million last year to $2.850 million this year.
Imports of pulses (leguminous vegetables) also increased by 46.56 per cent, from $93.557 million to $137.120 million.
However, imports of all other food products decreased by 39.25 per cent and reached $339.676 million during the first quarter of the current year compared to imports of $559.153 million during the same quarter of last fiscal year.
Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the food imports into the country declined by 27.76 per cent, going down from $596.216 million in September 2014 to $430.730 million in September 2015.
On month-on-month basis, the food imports witnessed nominal decrease of 0.50 per cent in September 2015 compared to the imports of $432.678 million during August 2015, the data revealed.
During the first quarter of the current fiscal year, the overall trade deficit narrowed by 15.03 per cent as revealed by the PBS data, after decline in imports as well as exports.
The imports during the period stood at $10.656 billion in July-September (2015-16) whereas the exports from the country stood at $5.155 billion during the same period.
Based on the figures, the trade deficit was recorded at $5.501 billion during current year compared to the deficit of $6.474 billion during the same period last year, showing a decline of 15.03 per cent.