Merchandise exports rises up marginally in August from a year before, reflecting a need slowdown in key Western markets, but a sustained wave in imports kept the trade deficit at a raised level.
According to the provisional data published for Imports Exports
by the Commerce Ministry on Wednesday, exports increased 1.6 percent from a year before to $33.9 billion, while imports bounced 37.3 percent to $61.9 billion. Therefore, the trade deficit in August hit $28 billion, the second-highest on record and near to the monthly peak of $30 billion in July.
Following a cut in the windfall tax, petroleum product exports increased almost 23 percent to $5.7 billion, against a 9 percent incline in the last month. This relatively propped up overall exports in August.
Meanwhile, the elevated trade deficit will persist to pressure on the current account deficit (CAD), already expected to have hit a nine-year high in the first quarter. Official sources, however, highlighted the government has adequate weight to finance the CAD. Notably, with global commodity prices moderating, the export value will remain under strain in the coming months. This will add to the woes of a need slowdown in the US, EU, China, and the UK.
Although imports still stay high, the pace of growth is slowing — from 43.6 percent in July to 37.3 percent in August. The data indicated exports in the first five months of this fiscal hit $193.5 billion, up almost 18 percent from a year earlier. Imports, however, bounced about 46 percent to $318 billion, leading to a record trade deficit of $131.5 billion.