Pakistan’s Mobile Imports Soar Almost 170% to Hit Rs. 135 Billion in First 4 Months of FY24

Despite economic challenges and untamed inflation, the relaxation of imports and opening of letters of credit has led to a big increase in the import of items such as smartphones, vehicles, and tea.

Statistics for the first four months of the ongoing financial year reveal a substantial uptick in the import of certain items. Smartphones, valued at Rs. 135 billion, cars worth about Rs. 20 billion, parts totaling Rs. 60 billion, and tea valued at around Rs. 64 billion were reported in 4MFY24, according to a report by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

Surge in mobile imports

PBS reported a 108 percent increase in the import of smartphones during the 4-month period (in dollar terms). Approximately $470 million worth of mobile phones were imported, translating to Rs. 135.47 billion (169 percent increase) in Pakistani rupee terms.  The country’s mobile imports in FY23 stood at $570 million (Rs. 136.8 billion in rupee terms). If the trend continues, mobile imports during the first five months will likely cross the mobile imports in FY23.

The import of vehicles experienced a nearly fourfold increase, with cars worth $67.8 million imported in 4MFY24, equivalent to Rs. 19.56 billion in PKR, compared to Rs. 5.02 billion in the same period last year. The import bill of auto parts decreased by 41 percent, amounting to $208.4 million (Rs. 60.25 billion).

Tea imports during 4MFY24 recorded a 16.35 percent increase, totaling 94,776 tons valued at $223.9 million or Rs. 64.51 billion. Notably, tea worth $58.5 million (~Rs. 24 billion), was imported in October alone.

The report added that the import of dry fruits increased by 50 percent in July-October FY24, resulting in an import bill exceeding $20 million.

Despite the significant imports witnessed during the period in review, the World Bank suggests that Pakistan could potentially reduce its import bill by an additional $13 billion.

Utility Stores Procures ‘Cheap’ 40,000 Metric Tons of Sugar to Avert Crisis

Meanwhile, the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) has averted a looming crisis by procuring 40,000 metric tons of sugar at a cost-effective rate. Sources informed ProPakistani that the sugar was acquired at Rs. 124.90 per kg, which is Rs. 10.37 cheaper than the previous tender of 20,000 metric tons at a rate of Rs. 135.27 per kg.

Inclusive of all charges, sugar will now be sold at Rs 138 per kg at utility stores, compared to the previous rate of Rs. 150 per kg.

Notably, USC has cumulatively procured 60,000 metric tons of sugar since October to curb shortage at its outlets.

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