ISLAMABAD: The food exports from the country witnessed a negative growth of 2.4 per cent, as it went down to $3.34 billion during the first three quarters of the ongoing fiscal year (FY19) as compared to the exports of $3.43 billion during the corresponding period of FY18, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported.
The food commodities that contributed in the negative growth during the period under review included rice (0.48pc), fish and fish preparations (6.88pc), vegetables (2.48pc), tobacco (24.72pc), sugar (68.20pc), and meat (1.42pc).
On the other hand, the food products that witnessed a positive growth in external trade included fruits (8.66pc), wheat (104pc) and spices (14.65pc), while the export of oilseeds, nuts and kernels increased by 117pc.
The exports of all other food items also witnessed a positive growth of 16.56pc, as it went up from $411.378 million during the first nine months of FY18 to $479.482 million.
On a year-on-year basis, the food exports from the country declined by 19.88pc, from $589.238 million in March 2018 to $472.083 million in March 2019.
On a month-on-month basis, the exports from the country witnessed a positive growth of 15.63pc in March 2019 as compared to February 2019.
It is pertinent to mention that the overall merchandise trade deficit decreased by 13.02pc during July-March 2018-19 as the deficit contracted by over $3.544 billion to $23.672 billion in the period under review against the deficit of $27.216 billion recorded during the same period of the previous year.
The exports during the period under review witnessed an increase of 0.11pc to $17.08 billion from $17.064 billion during July-March (2017-18).
On the other hand, the imports declined by 7.96pc to $40.755 billion from $44.281 billion recorded during the first nine months of the previous fiscal year.
On a year-on-year basis, the imports into the country witnessed a negative growth of 20.88pc during March 2019 as compared to March 2018. The imports during March 2019 were recorded at $4.155 billion as against the imports of $5.25 billion in March 2018.