ISLAMABAD: The food exports from the country witnessed negative growth of 2.4 percent by going down to $3348.144 million during the first three quarters of the ongoing fiscal year compared to the exports of $3430.346 billion during the corresponding period of fiscal year 2017-18, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported on Monday.
The food commodities that contributed in negative growth of food group trade included, rice, exports of which slipped by 0.48 percent, from $1494.667 million during July-March (2017-18) against the exports of $1487.510 million during July-March (2018-19).
The exports of fish and fish preparations also decreased from $315.614 million to $293.887 million, showing decline of 6.88 percent during the period under review while the exports of vegetables decreased by 2.48 percent, from $172.623 million to $168.338 million.
Tobacco exports decreased by 24.72 percent, from $23.745 million to $17.875 million whereas the exports of sugar also decreased by 68.20 percent, from $362.043 last year to $115.130 million during the current fiscal year.
The exports of meat and meat preparations also decreased by 1.42 percent during the period under review by slipping from $159.166 million to $156.901 million the PBS data revealed.
Meanwhile, the food products that witnessed positive growth in external trade included fruits, exports of which increase by 8.66 percent to $369.225 million from $339.814 million whereas the wheat exports increased by 104.11 percent, from $59.710 million to $121.872 million.
The exports of spices increased from $59.698 million to $68.445 million, an increase of 14.65 percent while the exports of oil seeds, nuts and kernels increased by 117.88 percent, from $31.888 million to $69.479 million.
The exports of all other food items also witnessed positive growth of 16.56 percent by going up from $411.378 million last year to $479.482 million.
Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the food exports from the country declined by 19.88 percent from $589.238 million in March 2018 to $472.083 million.
On month-on-month basis, the exports from the country witnessed positive growth of 15.63 percent in March 2019 when compared to the exports of $408.263 million in February 2019.
It is pertinent to mention here that overall merchandize trade deficit decreased by 13.02 percent 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 same period of the previous year.
The exports during the period under review witnessed an increase of 0.11% to $17.08 billion from $17.064 billion during July-March (2017-18).
On the other hand, the imports declined by 7.96% to $40.755 billion from $44.281 billion recorded during first nine months of current fiscal year.
On year-on-year basis, the imports into the country witnessed negative growth of 20.88% during March 2019 when compared to the imports of same month of last year. The imports during March 2019 were recorded at $4.155 billion against the imports of $5.25 billion in March 2018.