According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the import bill for oil in April 2023 was recorded at $891.46 million, experiencing a significant year-on-year (YoY) decline of 59.91% and a month-on-month (MoM) decrease of 26.11%. In the previous month, the import bill for oil was $1.2 billion, and in April 2022, it stood at $2.23 billion.

The share of petroleum products in the total import bill of $2.99 billion for April 2023 was 29.74%. It’s worth noting that the overall import bill has declined by 21.46% MoM and 55% YoY compared to $3.81 billion in March 2023 and $6.66 billion in April 2022, respectively.

Regarding the transport sector, the import bill experienced a significant drop of 32.74% MoM and a substantial decline of 82.73% YoY, amounting to $63.09 million in April 2023 compared to $365.27 million in April 2022. This was mainly driven by a decrease in imports of road motor vehicles (build unit, CKD/SKD), which amounted to $62.66 million in April 2023, down from $87.89 million in March 2023 and $275.35 million in April 2022.

The import of medicinal products also saw a decline of 47.75% YoY and 46.92% MoM in April 2032, reaching $71.25 million.

On the other hand, food imports in April 2023 decreased by 33.61% MoM and 36.88% YoY to $429.11 million compared to $646.34 million in March 2023 and $679.86 million in the corresponding period last year.

Although exports also declined by 29.11% in April, the significant 60% plunge in import bills resulted in a notable improvement in Pakistan’s trade deficit. The merchandise trade deficit for April 2023 stood at $860 million, significantly lower than the deficit of $3.76 billion in April 2022, marking a YoY decline of 77.15%. This reflects the impact of recent import restrictions and their effect on the country’s trade balance.

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