View shows railroad freight cars, including oil tanks, in Omsk, Russia May 1, 2020. — Reuters

Pakistan’s oil imports hit record high despite surging prices

by Pakistan News
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View shows railroad freight cars, including oil tanks, in Omsk, Russia May 1, 2020. — Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Despite high international crude and POL prices, the country’s imports of oil products and crude hit record highs — both in volume and money terms — on the back of a rising US dollar against the rupee and the government’s decision to raise local POL prices to revive the stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, The News reported.

Having a record inventory of POL in the country, Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail on Thursday hinted at pausing the import of furnace oil and diesel for the next two months.

In a press briefing, he said the country “has sufficient stock of diesel, furnace oil, and motor gasoline for two months”.

Miftah said in view of the availability of the stock, there was no need to import these commodities, which would reduce pressure on the Pakistani rupee.

In June 2022, crude oil imports were at a record high of 1.12 million tonnes ($838.79 million) against 0.763 million tonnes ($538.67 million) in the previous month of May 2022. In the same month last year, imports were at 0.816 million tonnes ($382.68 million).

Volumetric imports of crude increased 46.78% over the previous month and 37.2% over June 2021. In dollar terms, it increased 55.72% over the previous month and 119.2% over the same month of last year.

Similarly, petroleum products imports were also at record highs in June 2022 in both volume and value.

In June 2022, importers imported 2.19 million tonnes of products, with a total worth of $2.046 billion — the highest ever in any month in the past.

In the previous month (May), its imports were 1.72 million tonnes (of $1.47 billion) and in June 2021, it was 1.5 million tonnes bought with 728.6 million dollars.

In June 2022, the petroleum products’ imports in quantity increased by 27.48% over the previous month and 44.6% over the same month a year ago. In money terms, during the month under review, its imports increased 39% over the previous month and 181% over June 2021 imports.

Overall, the petroleum group’s imports in June 2022 increased 146.6% to $3.64 billion from $1.47 billion in June 2021 and 37.5% over the previous month when its imports were recorded at 2.64 billion.

In FY22 (July-June), petroleum group imports increased by 105% to a record high of $23.3 billion.

Of this, petroleum products imports increased by 133% to $12.07 billion, crude oil by 80.8% to $5.59 billion, LNG by 90.65% to $4.99 billion and LPG imports up by 39.7% to $660.7 million.

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