Pakistan’s Top 10 Imports

Pakistani mosque at sunset

Pakistani mosque sunset

Pakistan imported US$57.4 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2017, up by 31.2% since 2013 and up by 22.2% from 2016 to 2017.

From January to June 2018, goods imported into Pakistan were valued at $32.2 billion. This 6-month metric puts Pakistani imports on track for an annualized $64.4 billion estimated for all 2018.

Given Pakistan’s population of 204.9 million people, its total $57.4 billion in 2017 imports translates to an estimated $280 in yearly product demand from every person in the South Asian country.

From a continental perspective, suppliers in Asia provide 74.2% of total Pakistani imported goods. Smaller percentages originate from Europe (12.7%), North America (6.2%), Africa (3.9%) and Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (1.6%).

Pakistan’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Pakistan’s import purchases during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Pakistan.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$13.7 billion (23.9% of total imports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $6.9 billion (11.9%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: $4.7 billion (8.3%)
  4. Iron, steel: $3.4 billion (6%)
  5. Vehicles: $2.7 billion (4.6%)
  6. Organic chemicals: $2.4 billion (4.1%)
  7. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $2.4 billion (4.1%)
  8. Plastics, plastic articles: $2.3 billion (4%)
  9. Oil seeds: $1.4 billion (2.4%)
  10. Vegetables: $981.2 million (1.7%)

Pakistan’s top 10 imports accounted for 71.1% of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Imported mineral fuels including oil had the fastest-growing increase in value among the top 10 import categories, up by 43.9% from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for improving import sales were oil seeds, up by 33.5%. Pakistani imports of vehicles delivered the third-fastest gain up by 26.8% while imported iron and steel improved by 24.1%.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.

Also see the section Searchable List of Pakistan’s Most Valuable Import Products further down near the bottom of this article.

Fuel

In 2017, Pakistani importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products:

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$7.4 billion (up 28.9% from 2016)
  2. Crude oil: $3.1 billion (up 58.1%)
  3. Petroleum gases: $1.9 billion (up 83.2%)
  4. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $1.1 billion (up 103%)
  5. Petroleum oil residues: $49.3 million (up 0.1%)
  6. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $34.3 million (up 31.9%)
  7. Electrical energy: $33.1 million (down -67.4%)
  8. Coke, semi-coke: $32.7 million (up 26.6%)
  9. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $9.9 million (up 30.1%)
  10. Natural bitumen, asphalt, shale: $433,000 (up 11.3%)

Among these import subcategories, Pakistan’s purchases of coal including solid fuels made from coal (up 103%), petroleum gases (up 83.2%) and crude oil (up 58.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of mineral fuels-related goods among Pakistani businesses and consumers.

Machinery

In 2017, Pakistani importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery:

  1. Vapour-based boilers: US$535.4 million (up 54.7% from 2016)
  2. Turbo-jets: $469.1 million (up 0.7%)
  3. Air or vacuum pumps: $400.5 million (up 22.9%)
  4. Computers, optical readers: $376.2 million (up 19.4%)
  5. Sort/screen/washing machinery: $305.8 million (up 107.5%)
  6. Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers): $298.2 million (up 2.7%)
  7. Temperature-change machines: $284.6 million (up 31.7%)
  8. Steam/vapor turbines: $262.5 million (down -15.6%)
  9. Textile fiber work machines: $246.2 million (up 51.7%)
  10. Piston engine parts: $225.3 million (up 32.5%)

Among these import subcategories, Pakistan’s purchases of sort/screen/washing machinery (up 107.5%), vapour-based boilers (up 54.7%) and textile fiber work machines (up 51.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of machinery -related imports among Pakistani businesses and consumers.

Electronics

In 2017, Pakistani importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronics and related products:

  1. Phone system devices including smartphones: US$1.3 billion (up 7.1% from 2016)
  2. Electric generating sets, converters: $686.9 million (down -29.7%)
  3. Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $662.3 million (up 33%)
  4. Electrical converters/power units: $362.3 million (up 27.2%)
  5. Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $249 million (up 50.3%)
  6. Insulated wire/cable: $180.1 million (up 19.3%)
  7. Unrecorded sound media: $166.6 million (up 54.6%)
  8. Electric motors, generators: $121.5 million (up 36.5%)
  9. Filament/discharge lamps: $105.1 million (down -1.6%)
  10. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $104.5 million (up 36.8%)

Among these import subcategories, Pakistan’s purchases of unrecorded sound media (up 54.6%), electrical or optical circuit boards and panels (up 50.3%) and lower-voltage switches or fuses (up 36.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of electronics-related imports among Pakistani businesses and consumers.

Iron

In 2017, Pakistani importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of iron and steel:

  1. Iron or steel scrap: US$1.5 billion (up 41.1% from 2016)
  2. Flat-rolled other alloy steel products: $484.4 million (up 8.6%)
  3. Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products: $399.8 million (up 27.7%)
  4. Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated): $352.1 million (up 19.3%)
  5. Cold-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (thicker): $152.1 million (down -15.3%)
  6. Cold-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (thinner)” $126.3 million (up 979.3%)
  7. Flat-rolled stainless steel items: $117 million (up 11.6%)
  8. Coiled other alloy steel bars, rods: $61.1 million (up 47%)
  9. Iron ferroalloys: $60.5 million (up 65.6%)
  10. Iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods: $51.3 million (up 34.5%)

Among these import subcategories, Pakistan’s purchases of cold-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (up 979.3%), iron ferroalloys (up 65.6%) and coiled other alloy steel bars or rods (up 47%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of iron and steel-related imports among Pakistani businesses and consumers.



 

Searchable List of Pakistan’s Most Valuable Import Products

At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, Pakistan’s top import products are refined petroleum products, crude oil, palm oil and petroleum gases followed by iron or steel scrap, cars then mobile phones.

The following searchable table displays 200 of Pakistan’s most in-demand imported goods during 2017. Shown beside each product label is its total import value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2016.

RankPakistan's Import Product2017 Value (US$)Change
1Processed petroleum oils$7.4 billion+28.9%
2Crude oil$3.1 billion+58.1%
3Palm oil$2.1 billion+23.2%
4Petroleum gases$1.9 billion+83.2%
5Iron or steel scrap$1.5 billion+41.1%
6Cars$1.4 billion+38.2%
7Phone system devices including smartphones$1.3 billion+7.1%
8Coal, solid fuels made from coal$1.1 billion+103%
9Dried shelled vegetables$850.8 million+21.8%
10Cotton (uncarded, uncombed)$761.5 million+31.2%
11Soya beans$745.1 million+94.3%
12Ethylene polymers$705.3 million+16.6%
13Electric generating sets, converters$686.9 million-29.7%
14Solar power diodes/semi-conductors$662.3 million+33%
15Fertilizer mixes$655.8 million+37.2%
16Propylene/olefin polymers$615.1 million+22.6%
17Breaker vessels$556.4 million+42.7%
18Tea (including flavored)$549.6 million+12.2%
19Vapour-based boilers$535.4 million+54.7%
20Flat-rolled other alloy steel products$484.4 million+8.6%
21Rape/colza seeds$475.1 million+2.3%
22Medication mixes in dosage$473.6 million+15.6%
23Turbo-jets$469.1 million+0.7%
24Acyclic alcohols$422.1 million+38%
25Air or vacuum pumps$400.5 million+22.9%
26Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$399.8 million+27.7%
27Computers, optical readers$376.2 million+19.4%
28Trucks$368.7 million+5.5%
29Electrical converters/power units$362.3 million+27.2%
30Cyclic hydrocarbons$356.7 million+4.2%
31Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)$352.1 million+19.3%
32Uncarded artificial staple fibers$352.1 million+25.8%
33Rubber tires (new)$351.2 million+7.2%
34Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$344.1 million+28%
35Synthetic filament yarn$342.3 million-1.1%
36Automobile parts/accessories$307.4 million+35.3%
37Sort/screen/washing machinery$305.8 million+107.5%
38Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$298.2 million+2.7%
39Temperature-change machines$284.6 million+31.7%
40Blood fractions (including antisera)$274.6 million+4.7%
41Steam/vapor turbines$262.5 million-15.6%
42Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$249 million+50.3%
43Textile fiber work machines$246.2 million+51.7%
44Worn clothing$240.2 million+0.3%
45Synthetic organic coloring$237.4 million+5.3%
46Piston engine parts$225.3 million+32.5%
47Phosphoric/polyphosphoric acids$224.8 million-9.6%
48Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$216.9 million+17.1%
49Miscellaneous machinery$213.9 million+30.4%
50Rail locomotives$208 million+70648%
51Air conditioners$202.5 million+35.9%
52Tractors$195.1 million+39.7%
53Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$193.2 million-11.6%
54Artificial filament yarn$193 million+14.8%
55Liquid pumps and elevators$189.9 million-5.2%
56Chemical industry products/residuals$189.4 million+1.3%
57Coated paper$183 million+1.5%
58Synthetic yarn woven fabrics$181.2 million+1.6%
59Insulated wire/cable$180.1 million+19.3%
60Unglazed ceramic flags, tiles$168.8 million+299.5%
61Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides$166.7 million+14.7%
62Unrecorded sound media$166.6 million+54.6%
63Soya-bean oil$166.5 million+19.3%
64Yarn (85%+ cotton)$165.5 million+66.5%
65Miscellaneous nuts$161.8 million-5%
66Iron or steel tubes, pipes$156.8 million+2.1%
67Lifting/loading machinery$155.9 million-4.4%
68Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$153 million+4.5%
69Cold-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$152.1 million-15.3%
70Heterocyclics, nucleic acids$147.7 million+5.3%
71Taps, valves, similar appliances$145.1 million-21.9%
72Rubber/plastic article making machines$142.7 million+17.5%
73Flour/meal/starch/malt extract food preparations$139.8 million+11.7%
74Amino-compounds (oxygen)$137.3 million+11.6%
75Concentrated/sweetened milk, cream$134.3 million-12.9%
76Polycarboxylic acids$132.5 million+83.5%
77Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (narrow)$126.3 million+979.3%
78 Dishwashing, clean/dry/fill machines $125.7 million+6.1%
79Soya-bean oil-cake, other solid residues$122.5 million-13.5%
80Electric motors, generators$121.5 million+36.5%
81Printing machinery$120.3 million+26.7%
82Derricks, cranes$118.6 million+40.9%
83Antibiotics$118.4 million+8.1%
84Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$117.7 million+20.2%
85Flat-rolled stainless steel items$117 million+11.6%
86Other organic cleaning preparations$116.7 million+7%
87Pile/terry fabrics$116.4 million+14.4%
88Nitrile-function compounds$115.8 million+38.5%
89Uncarded synthetic staple fibers$115.2 million+20.5%
90Refrigerators, freezers$111.5 million+36.2%
91Motorcycles$110.4 million+36.1%
92Aluminum (unwrought)$107.4 million+13.3%
93Public-transport vehicles$107 million+12.1%
94Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners$105.2 million-0.3%
95Filament/discharge lamps$105.1 million-1.6%
96Lead (unwrought)$105.1 million+19.1%
97Lower-voltage switches, fuses$104.5 million+36.8%
98Cellulose fiber paper$102.3 million+31%
99Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving)$102.2 million+37.3%
100Synthetic rubber$102.1 million+31%
101Scents used for beverage or industrial manufacturing$102.1 million+14.9%
102Synthetic staple fiber yarn$100.6 million+1.5%
103Other coloring matter, luminophores$98.9 million+40.7%
104Other nitrogen compounds$98.2 million+114.9%
105Machinery parts$98 million+25.9%
106Refined copper, unwrought alloys$96.6 million+12.7%
107Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs$96.4 million+39.5%
108Artificial staple fiber woven fabrics$94.9 million-27.2%
109Other diagnostic/lab reagents$94.6 million+36.7%
110Yarn wash/clean/iron machines$94.3 million+21.8%
111TV receivers/monitors/projectors$93.8 million-17.2%
112Sowing seeds, fruits, spores$93.5 million-5.3%
113Sawn wood$93.3 million+13.3%
114Ball, roller bearings$91.6 million+34.2%
115Uncoated kraft paper$90.5 million+1.6%
116Weaving machines (loom)$90.1 million-16%
117Aircraft, spacecraft$89.4 million+293.4%
118Uncoated paper for writing/printing$88.5 million+12%
119Mixed alkylbenzenes, alkylnaphthalenes$87.3 million+13.2%
120Acyclic hydrocarbons$87.3 million+20.7%
121Miscellaneous heterocyclics$87.2 million+2.9%
122Natural rubber$87.2 million+47.1%
123Textile fabrics with plastics$86.1 million+28.8%
124Physical/chemical analysis tools$83.3 million+29.8%
125Auxiliary machines$82 million+7.1%
126Miscellaneous iron or steel items$81.8 million+27.9%
127Onions, garlic, leeks$81.5 million-19.8%
128Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$81.3 million+5.6%
129Motorcycle parts/accessories$81.2 million+24.9%
130Prefabricated buildings$80.6 million+181%
131Electric storage batteries$80.5 million+4.8%
132Electrical signal/safety/traffic control$78.6 million+4250.7%
133Coated/laminated non-wovens$78 million+25.4%
134Anti-knock/oxidation/gum inhibitors$77.9 million-3.1%
135Saturated acyclic mono acids$77.8 million+16.9%
136Vinyl chloride polymers$77.2 million+26.3%
137Non-electric industrial/lab furnaces, ovens$75.2 million+64.4%
138Knitting/stitching machines$75 million+16.2%
139Self-propelled rail or tram coaches/vans/trucks$73.1 million#DIV/0!
140X-ray equipment$72.8 million+76.9%
141Amino-resins$72.7 million+72.2%
142Aluminum foil (thin)$71.1 million+8.3%
143Aluminum waste, scrap$70.2 million+11.3%
144High-voltage switches, fuses$68.2 million-19.7%
145Footwear (textile)$67.7 million+25.2%
146Spices including ginger, saffron, thyme, curry$65.7 million+7.2%
147Auxiliary machinery to use with boilers$65.7 million-41.3%
148Miscellaneous plastic items$64.6 million+23.9%
149Grapes (fresh or dried)$64 million-16.9%
150Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$63.4 million+19.5%
151Miscellaneous animal feed preparations$62.9 million+34.6%
152Organo-sulphur compounds$62.7 million-12.6%
153Miscellaneous oil cakes$62.4 million+5.1%
154Coiled other alloy steel bars, rods$61.1 million+47%
155Newsprint (rolls or sheets)$61 million+11.4%
156Special purpose vehicles$60.9 million-37.2%
157Hydraulic turbines, wheels, regulators$60.7 million-18.2%
158Industrial preparation machinery$60.5 million+73.6%
159Iron ferroalloys$60.5 million+65.6%
160Moulding boxes/base$59.8 million+10%
161Electrical machinery$59.8 million+40.6%
162Aircraft parts$59.4 million+1.1%
163Self-adhesive plastic in rolls$59 million+10.2%
164Other food preparations$58.2 million+4.8%
165Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys$57.8 million+20%
166Styrene polymers$57.5 million+35.9%
167Household glassware$57.4 million+25.9%
168Acrylic polymers$56.9 million+24.3%
169Provitamins, vitamins$56.8 million+25.2%
170Lubricants including cutting-oil$56.5 million+19.3%
171Vulcanized rubber items$56.5 million+30.3%
172Other than warp-knit fabrics$55.6 million+65.3%
173Corn$55.3 million+14.3%
174Iron or steel pipe fittings$54.6 million-7.1%
175Zinc (unwrought)$54.5 million+69.3%
176Apples, pears (fresh)$54.4 million+55.5%
177Amine-function compounds$54.4 million+101.3%
178Hydrocarbon derivatives$54.1 million+36.7%
179Potassic fertilizers$53.9 million+68.7%
180Electric motor parts$53 million-55.1%
181Spray/dispersing mechanical appliances$51.9 million+43.5%
182Interchangeable hand/machine tools$51.6 million+38.6%
183Iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods$51.3 million+34.5%
184Move/grade/scrape/boring machinery$50.4 million-5%
185Fiberboard (wood, other ligneous)$49.7 million-9.8%
186Petroleum oil residues$49.3 million+0.1%
187Regulate/control instruments$49.1 million+30.2%
188Bast fibers (jute, other textiles)$49.1 million+45.6%
189Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$48.9 million+49.3%
190Rail or tram locomotives, rolling stock$48.8 million+5.6%
191Unsaturated acyclic mono acids$48.6 million+12.2%
192Carboxylic acids$48.3 million+12.4%
193Cellulose/chemical derivatives$46.8 million+9.3%
194Silicones$46.6 million+18.6%
195Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes$46.1 million+13.1%
196Finishing agents, dye carriers, fixers$45.2 million+7.5%
197Blankets, travel rugs$44.9 million-6.1%
198Railway track construction material$44.7 million+45.3%
199Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers$44.2 million+31.7%
200Natural steatite$44 million+64.3%

These 200 imported goods were worth a subtotal of US$50.5 billion or 87.9% by value for all products imported into Pakistan during 2017.

See also Pakistan’s Top 10 Exports and Pakistan’s Top Trading Partners

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on May 16, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 16, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on May 16, 2018