Before 2019, Pakistan was dependent on India for meat, cotton, and wheat and cereal flour imports. After the curbs, it replaced India’s share with imports from China, U.S., and Brazil.

Before 2019, Pakistan was dependent on India for meat, cotton, and wheat and cereal flour imports. After the curbs, it replaced India’s share with imports from China, U.S., and Brazil.

In 2019, India and Pakistan took severe measures to curb the free flow of goods between them. The terror attack in Pulwama, the cross-border air strikes, and the dilution of Article 370 in J&K were the major reasons for this. However, over the past few days, Pakistan has been reeling from catastrophic floods which have flattened standing crops and led to a fear of food shortage. In this context, Pakistan’s Finance Minister said last week that the government could consider importing vegetables and other edible items from India. Data show that before 2019, Pakistan was dependent on India for meat, cotton, and wheat and cereal flour imports. After the curbs, it replaced India’s share with imports from China, the U.S. and Brazil.

Import dependence

The chart shows Pakistan’s imports from India (in $million). The table shows Pakistan’s top trade partners and India, their import share and import ranking. For instance, in 2008, 4% of Pakistan’s imports came from India, which ranked 8th among Pakistan’s partners. In 2021, only 0.5% of imports were from India, which ranked 36.

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Commodity share

The graph shows India’s share in Pakistan’s total imports for specific products between 2014 and 2018. For instance, 64% of Pakistan’s meat imports, 42% of its cotton imports and 15% of products of the milling industry were imported from India in this period. 

Replacements

The charts show Pakistan’s imports in $ million between 2017 and 2021 in three products: meat, cotton, and products of the milling industry (wheat, cereal flour, etc). Pakistan stopped meat imports from India but since then, no country has been able to match India’s pre-2019 share in meat imports. However, India was replaced by the U.S. and Brazil in cotton imports and by China in flour imports.

Source: Comtrade

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