Pakistan’s Top 10 Imports

Pakistani mosque at sunset

Pakistani mosque sunset

Pakistan imported US$60.3 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2018, up by 26.9% since 2014 and up by 5% from 2017 to 2018.

Given Pakistan’s population of 207.9 million people, its total $60.3 billion in 2018 imports translates to an estimated $290 in yearly product demand from every person in the South Asian country.

From a continental perspective, suppliers in Asia provide almost three-quarters (73.7%) of total Pakistani imported goods. Smaller percentages originate from Europe (11.9%), North America (6%), Africa (5.3%), Latin America (1.2%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.7%) led by Australia.

Pakistan’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Pakistan’s import purchases during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Pakistan.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$17.1 billion (28.4% of total imports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $6.3 billion (10.4%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: $4.3 billion (7.2%)
  4. Iron, steel: $3.7 billion (6.1%)
  5. Organic chemicals: $2.8 billion (4.6%)
  6. Vehicles: $2.6 billion (4.3%)
  7. Plastics, plastic articles: $2.5 billion (4.1%)
  8. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $2.1 billion (3.5%)
  9. Oil seeds: $1.5 billion (2.4%)
  10. Cotton: $1.3 billion (2.1%)

Pakistan’s top 10 imports accounted for 73.2% of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Imported cotton had the fastest-growing increase in value among the top 10 import categories, up by 32.9% from 2017 to 2018.

In second place for expanding import purchases was the mineral fuels including oil category, up by 24.9%. Pakistani imports of organic chemicals delivered the third-fastest acceleration up by 16.5%.

Leading the decliners was animal or vegetable fats, oils and waxes via a -10.3% retreat year over year.

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.


In 2018, Pakistani importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$6.8 billion (down -7.9% from 2017)
  2. Crude oil: $4.9 billion (up 56.3%)
  3. Petroleum gases: $3.5 billion (up 80.6%)
  4. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $1.6 billion (up 52.5%)
  5. Petroleum oil residues: $128.5 million (up 160.4%)
  6. Coke, semi-coke: $46.3 million (up 41.9%)
  7. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $45.4 million (up 32.4%)
  8. Electrical energy: $40.3 million (up 21.7%)
  9. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $10.7 million (up 8%)
  10. Peat: $486,000 (up 185.9%)

Among these import subcategories, Pakistani purchases of peat (up 185.9%), petroleum oil residues (up 160.4%) then petroleum gases (up 80.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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.


In 2018, Pakistani importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery.

  1. Computers, optical readers: US$390.1 million (up 3.7% from 2017)
  2. Air or vacuum pumps: $349.9 million (down -12.6%)
  3. Sort/screen/washing machinery: $318.7 million (up 4.2%)
  4. Vapour-based boilers: $313.6 million (down -41.4%)
  5. Miscellaneous machinery: $300.1 million (up 40.3%)
  6. Temperature-change machines: $241.3 million (down -15.2%)
  7. Piston engine parts: $229.5 million (up 1.8%)
  8. Liquid pumps and elevators: $228.7 million (up 20.5%)
  9. Turbo-jets: $217.5 million (down -53.6%)
  10. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $204.2 million (up 40.7%)

Among these import subcategories, Pakistani purchases of taps, valves and similar appliances (up 40.7%), miscellaneous machinery (up 40.3%) then liquid pumps and elevators (up 20.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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.


In 2018, 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 0.2% from 2017)
  2. Electric generating sets, converters: $642.8 million (down -6.4%)
  3. Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $398.1 million (down -39.9%)
  4. Electrical converters/power units: $288.6 million (down -20.4%)
  5. Insulated wire/cable: $249.2 million (up 38.3%)
  6. Unrecorded sound media: $176.9 million (up 6.2%)
  7. Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $175.1 million (down -29.7%)
  8. Electric motors, generators: $126.5 million (up 4.1%)
  9. Electric motor parts: $102.3 million (up 92.9%)
  10. Filament/discharge lamps: $100.2 million (down -4.7%)

Among these import subcategories, Pakistani purchases of electric motor parts (up 92.9%), insulated wire or cable (up 38.3%) then unrecorded sound media (up 6.2%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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.


In 2018, Pakistani importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of iron and steel.

  1. Iron or steel scrap: US$1.6 billion (up 8.1% from 2017)
  2. Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products: $517.8 million (up 29.5%)
  3. Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated): $359.6 million (up 2.1%)
  4. Flat-rolled other alloy steel products: $354.7 million (down -26.8%)
  5. Cold-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products: $228.8 million (up 50.5%)
  6. Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (< 600 mm): $214.3 million (up 69.6%)
  7. Flat-rolled stainless steel items: $135.9 million (up 16.2%)
  8. Coiled other alloy steel bars, rods: $83.6 million (up 36.7%)
  9. Iron ferroalloys: $62.3 million (up 3.1%)
  10. Iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods: $36.7 million (down -28.5%)

Among these import subcategories, Pakistani purchases of flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products of a width < 600 mm (up 69.6%), cold-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (up 50.5%) then coiled other alloy steel bars and rods (up 36.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.
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, petroleum gases, palm oil then coal.

The following searchable table displays 200 of Pakistan’s most in-demand imported goods during 2018. Shown beside each product label is its total import value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2017.

RankPakistan's Import Product2018 Value (US$)Change
1Processed petroleum oils$6.8 billion-7.9%
2Crude oil$4.9 billion+56.3%
3Petroleum gases$3.5 billion+80.6%
4Palm oil$1.9 billion-7.8%
5Coal, solid fuels made from coal$1.6 billion+52.5%
6Iron or steel scrap$1.6 billion+8.1%
7Cars$1.3 billion-5.7%
8Phone system devices $1.3 billion+0.2%
9Cotton (uncarded, uncombed)$1.1 billion+44.4%
10Soya beans$935 million+25.5%
11Fertilizer mixes$861.8 million+31.4%
12Propylene/olefin polymers$699 million+13.6%
13Ethylene polymers$693.4 million-1.7%
14Electric generating sets, converters$642.8 million-6.4%
15Tea (including flavored)$569.8 million+3.7%
16Dried shelled vegetables$553.2 million-35%
17Medication mixes in dosage$528 million+11.5%
18Breaker vessels$524.7 million-5.7%
19Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$517.8 million+29.5%
20Acyclic alcohols$495 million+17.3%
21Cyclic hydrocarbons$472.9 million+32.6%
22Rape/colza seeds$404 million-15%
23Solar power diodes/semi-conductors$398.1 million-39.9%
24Trucks$390.6 million+5.9%
25Computers, optical readers$390.1 million+3.7%
26Uncombed artificial staple fibers$380.8 million+8.1%
27Synthetic filament yarn$366 million+6.9%
28Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)$359.6 million+2.1%
29Flat-rolled other alloy steel products$354.7 million-26.8%
30Air or vacuum pumps$349.9 million-12.6%
31Automobile parts/accessories$344.1 million+11.9%
32Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$342.9 million-0.3%
33Sort/screen/washing machinery$318.7 million+4.2%
34Vapour-based boilers$313.6 million-41.4%
35Blood fractions (including antisera)$307.2 million+11.9%
36Miscellaneous machinery$300.1 million+40.3%
37Cruise/cargo ships, barges$292.5 million+7255%
38Electrical converters/power units$288.6 million-20.4%
39Worn clothing$281 million+17%
40Phosphoric/polyphosphoric acids$263 million+17%
41Synthetic organic coloring$253.4 million+6.8%
42Insulated wire/cable$249.2 million+38.3%
43Temperature-change machines$241.3 million-15.2%
44Piston engine parts$229.5 million+1.8%
45Cold-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$228.8 million+50.5%
46Liquid pumps and elevators$228.7 million+20.5%
47Turbo-jets$217.5 million-53.6%
48Flat-rolled iron/non-alloy steel goods$214.3 million+69.6%
49Polycarboxylic acids$212.6 million+60.4%
50Rubber tires (new)$206.6 million-41.2%
51Taps, valves, similar appliances$204.2 million+40.7%
52Artificial filament yarn$198.4 million+2.8%
53Tractors$194 million-0.5%
54Steam/vapor turbines$190.8 million-27.3%
55Iron or steel tubes, pipes$189.9 million+21.1%
56Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$188.5 million-2.5%
57Coated paper$178.5 million-2.5%
58Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$177.3 million-18.2%
59Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides$177.3 million+6.3%
60Unrecorded sound media$176.9 million+6.2%
61Air conditioners$175.4 million-13.4%
62Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$175.1 million-29.7%
63Heterocyclics, nucleic acids$173.5 million+17.5%
64Textile fiber work machines$171 million-30.5%
65Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$169.3 million+10.6%
66Lifting/loading machinery$164.8 million+5.7%
67Chemical industry products/residuals$159.7 million-15.7%
68Rubber/plastic article making machines$158.4 million+11%
69Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving)$153 million+49.7%
70Flour/meal/starch/malt extract food preparations$152.4 million+9%
71Yarn (85%+ cotton)$148.9 million-10%
72Amino-resins$146.8 million+101.9%
73Unglazed ceramic flags, tiles$146 million-13.5%
74Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$142.3 million-52.3%
75Synthetic yarn woven fabrics$136.3 million-24.8%
76Flat-rolled stainless steel items$135.9 million+16.2%
77 Dishwashing, clean/dry/fill machines $133.1 million+5.9%
78Petroleum oil residues$128.5 million+160.4%
79Printing machinery$128.1 million+6.5%
80Electric motors, generators$126.5 million+4.1%
81Uncombed synthetic staple fibers for spinning$120.2 million+4.3%
82Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$118 million+0.3%
83Concentrated/sweetened milk, cream$115.4 million-14%
84Nitrile-function compounds$114.9 million-0.8%
85Synthetic rubber$114.6 million+12.3%
86Antibiotics$114.4 million-3.4%
87Saturated acyclic mono acids$111.9 million+43.7%
88Motorcycles$111.6 million+1.1%
89Scents used for beverage or industrial manufacturing$111.5 million+9.2%
90Other diagnostic/lab reagents$110.5 million+16.7%
91Refrigerators, freezers$109 million-2.3%
92Pile/terry fabrics$108.2 million-7.1%
93Uncoated kraft paper$107.3 million+18.6%
94Amino-compounds (oxygen)$106 million-22.8%
95Aluminum (unwrought)$105.3 million-1.9%
96Yarn wash/clean/iron machines$104.8 million+11.1%
97Sawn wood$104.8 million+12.4%
98Self-propelled railway/tram coaches, vans, trucks$103 million+40.9%
99Other organic cleaning preparations$102.4 million-12.2%
100Electric motor parts$102.3 million+92.9%
101Grapes (fresh or dried)$101.7 million+58.9%
102Other nitrogen compounds$101.6 million+3.4%
103Refined copper, unwrought alloys$101.4 million+4.9%
104Cellulose fiber paper$101.4 million-0.9%
105Filament/discharge lamps$100.2 million-4.7%
106Other coloring matter, luminophores$97.6 million-1.3%
107Public-transport vehicles$97.5 million-8.8%
108Machinery parts$94.8 million-3.2%
109Miscellaneous heterocyclics$94.5 million+8.4%
110Uncoated paper for writing/printing$93.5 million+5.7%
111Derricks, cranes$92.2 million-22.3%
112Sowing seeds, fruits, spores$92.2 million-1.4%
113Lower-voltage switches, fuses$91.7 million-12.3%
114Ball, roller bearings$91.4 million-0.1%
115Acyclic hydrocarbons$91.3 million+4.6%
116Physical/chemical analysis tools$90.4 million+8.6%
117Nuclear reactors, fuel elements$90.1 million+354.5%
118Amine-function compounds$89.9 million+65.4%
119Textile fabrics with plastics$87.4 million+1.5%
120Aluminum waste, scrap$87.2 million+24.3%
121Anti-knock/oxidation/gum inhibitors$86.5 million+11.1%
122Ginger, saffron, turmeric, thyme, bay leaves, curry$85.6 million+30.3%
123Knitting/stitching machines$85.5 million+14%
124Mixed alkylbenzenes, alkylnaphthalenes$85.3 million-2.3%
125Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$85 million+4.6%
126Natural rubber$83.9 million-3.8%
127Coiled other alloy steel bars, rods$83.6 million+36.7%
128Soya-bean oil$82.6 million-50.4%
129Synthetic staple fiber yarn (not sewing thread)$82 million-18.5%
130Coated/laminated non-wovens$81.8 million+4.8%
131Vinyl chloride polymers$81.6 million+5.8%
132Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners$80.7 million-23.3%
133Corn$80.1 million+44.7%
134Auxiliary machines$79.6 million-2.9%
135Move/grade/scrape/boring machinery$78.7 million+56.1%
136Aluminum foil (thin)$78.4 million+10.3%
137TV receivers/monitors/projectors$76.1 million-18.8%
138Miscellaneous iron or steel items$76.1 million-7.1%
139Industrial/lab furnaces, ovens$75.9 million+1%
140Lead (unwrought)$73.5 million-30%
141Metal-rolling mills$73.1 million+178.8%
142Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs$72.9 million-24.4%
143X-ray equipment$72.8 million+0.1%
144Other food preparations$71.8 million+23.4%
145High-voltage switches, fuses$70.3 million+3%
146Acrylic polymers$70.2 million+23.4%
147Motorcycle parts/accessories$70.1 million-13.6%
148Weaving machines (loom)$69.8 million-22.6%
149Zinc (unwrought)$69 million+26.5%
150Miscellaneous animal feed preparations$68.5 million+9%
151Interchangeable hand/machine tools$68.3 million+32.2%
152Provitamins, vitamins$67 million+17.9%
153Regulate/control instruments$66.7 million+35.7%
154Styrene polymers$65.8 million+14.4%
155Miscellaneous plastic items$65.6 million+1.5%
156Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$65.6 million+3.3%
157Electric storage batteries$63.8 million-20.7%
158Self-adhesive plastic in rolls$63.7 million+8%
159Iron ferroalloys$62.3 million+3.1%
160Iron or steel pipe fittings$60.8 million+11.4%
161Hydrocarbon derivatives$60.3 million+11.6%
162Industrial preparation machinery$59.7 million-1.3%
163Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers$59.1 million+33.8%
164Aircraft parts$57.2 million-3.6%
165Organo-sulphur compounds$57.2 million-8.7%
166Unsaturated acyclic mono acids$57.1 million+17.6%
167Cutting-oil preparations, lubricants$56.2 million-0.5%
168Nitrogenous fertilizers$55.9 million+48.5%
169Carboxylic acids$55.4 million+14.8%
170Moulding boxes/base$52.6 million-12.1%
171Silicones$52.5 million+12.6%
172Other than warp-knit fabrics$52 million-6.5%
173Spray/dispersing mechanical appliances$52 million+0.2%
174Footwear (textile)$51.9 million-23.4%
175Liquid/gas checking instruments$51.4 million+47.4%
176Vulcanized rubber items$51.3 million-9.2%
177Newsprint (rolls or sheets)$50.7 million-16.9%
178Artificial filament tow$49.4 million+63%
179Jute, other textile bast fibers$48.9 million-0.4%
180Hydraulic turbines, water wheels, regulators$48.8 million-19.6%
181Cellulose/chemical derivatives$48 million+2.6%
182Print/write/draw inks$47.9 million+25.5%
183Finishing agents, dye carriers, fixers$47.6 million+5.3%
184Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$47.2 million-3.5%
185Potassic fertilizers$46.9 million-13%
186Coke, semi-coke$46.3 million+41.9%
187Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys$46 million-20.4%
188Onions, garlic, leeks$45.6 million-44%
189Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation)$45.4 million+32.4%
190Piston engines$44.4 million+13.6%
191Agriculture/forestry/poultry.bee machines$44.1 million+61.1%
192Orthopedic appliances$43.9 million+31.1%
193Prefabricated buildings$42.8 million-46.9%
194Other ligneous/wood fiberboard$42 million-15.6%
195Electrical machinery$41 million-31.4%
196Electrical energy$40.3 million+21.7%
197Sewing machines, related furniture$40 million-3.5%
198Rough wood$39.7 million+2.5%
199Hormones, miscellaneous steroids$39.2 million+24%
200Industrial fatty acids and alcohols$39.1 million+9%

These 200 imported goods were worth a subtotal of US$53.6 billion or 88.9% by value for all products imported into Pakistan during 2018.

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 March 27, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 27, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 27, 2019

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Pakistan. Accessed on March 27, 2019

Wikipedia, Pakistan. Accessed on March 27, 2019