ISLAMABAD – Although the rice exports from Pakistan increased by 14.5 per cent, the overall food exports witnessed negative growth of 1.41 per cent during the first eleven months of the fiscal year 2013-14 compared to the corresponding period of last year.
The overall food exports during July-May (2013-14) were recorded at $4.295 billion compared to the exports of $4.357 billion in July-May (2012-13), according to the data of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The food products that contributed in negative growth in trade included vegetables, exports of which dropped by 14.03 per cent, from $234.320 last year to $201.455 in 2013-14 while the exports of leguminous vegetables (pulses) decreased from $4.463 million to $2.820 million, showing fall of 36.81 per cent.
Exports of tobacco decreased by 13.50 per cent by declining from $22.909 per cent to $19.817 per cent while the exports of wheat decreased by 86.79 by going down from $53.436 million to $7.058 million. Spices and sugar exports also witnessed decrease of 16.16 per cent and 46.12 per cent respectively as the exports of spices declined from $61.202 million to $51.312 million while the sugar exports decreased from $474.768 million to $255.800 million.
Meanwhile, the food products that witnessed positive growth in trade included rice, exports of which increased from $1.758 million to $2.013 million, showing an increase of 14.50 percent. Among the rice varieties, the exports of basmati increased by 12.29 per cent whereas the exports of other rice commodities expanded by 15.64 per cent.
The exports of fish and fish preparations increased by 15.25 per cent by going up from $291.301 to $335.732 million whereas the exports of fruits increased by 16.84 per cent, from $357.748 million to $417.997 million. The exports of oil seeds, nuts and kernals increased by 136.72 per cent from $33.535 million to $79.383 million whereas the exports of meat and meat preparations increased by 10.24 percent, from $194.032 million to $213.893 million.
The exports of all other food commodities witnessed negative growth of 19.98 per cent by falling from $871.070 last year to $697.054 million in 2013-14. It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan’s overall trade deficit narrowed by 5.66 per cent during first 11 months of current fiscal year as exports expanded by 3.71 per cent while imports witnessing negative growth of 0.57 per cent as compared to the same period of last year.
On year-on-year basis, the trade deficit witnessed sharp decrease by 27.60 per cent in May 2014 when compared to the deficit of the same month of last year. According to break up figures, the exports during July-May (2013-14) were recorded at $23.112 billion against the exports of $22.286 billion recorded during July-May 2012-13.
On the other hand, the imports into Pakistan during the period under review were recorded at $40.777 billion against the imports of $41.011 billion during the corresponding period of last year.