Heavy oil import bill depletes Pakistani forex reserves

Published October 15th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Pakistan's oil import bill rose by 84 percent in the first three months of the current fiscal year to September 30 compared to the same period last year, straining the country's weak forex reserves, analysts said Friday. 

 

The country has spent 997 million dollars on importing oil in the first quarter of the fiscal year, up from 542 million dollars for the same period last year, the federal bureau of statistics said. Pakistan's forex reserves currently stand at around one billion dollars while the country is negotiating a loan package from the International Monetary Fund. 

 

"Pakistan has no option but to get oil on deferred payment from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait," said Arshad Arif, head of research at First Capital Securities. 

 

The current military government has increased domestic petroleum prices by 31 percent since the coup a year ago because of the oil price hikes on the international market. 

 

"We are expecting more increases in petroleum prices as the Pakistani rupee has lost 14 percent against the dollar" in recent weeks, said Zamir Khan, a petroleum dealer in Karachi. – (AFP) 

© Agence France Presse 2000 

 

 

© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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