The imports of the overall petroleum group contracted by 8.80 percent during the first half of the current fiscal year (2022-23), as compared to the corresponding period of the last year, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported. The total imports of the petroleum group during July-December (2022-23) stood at $9,285.534 million, as against the imports of $10,181.765 million during the same period of last year, according to PBS data. Among petroleum commodities, the import of petroleum products declined by 16.90 percent, from $5,056.557 million last year to $4,202.187 million during the time period under review. Likewise, the imports of liquefied natural gas declined by 18.72 percent, from $1,949.704 million this year against the imports of $2,398.661 million recorded during the corresponding period of last year. On the other hand, the products that witnessed positive growth included petroleum crude, the imports of which grew by 15.17 percent, from $2,410.587 million last year to $2,776.186 million whereas imports of liquefied petroleum gas increased by 13.14 percent, from $315.783 million to $357.267 million. The imports of all other petroleum products increased by 7.06 percent, from $ 0.177 million to $0.189 million. Meanwhile, on a year-on-year basis, the petroleum group imports witnessed a decrease of 12.02 percent during the month of December 2022 as compared to the same months of last year. The petroleum imports during December 2022, were recorded as $1,585.263 million against the imports of $1,801.918 million during December 2021. On a month-on-month basis, the petroleum imports into the country declined by 3.70 percent during December 2022, as compared to the imports of $1,646.185 million November 2022, said the data. It is pertinent to mention here that the the trade deficit witnessed a decline of 32.65 percent during the first half of the current fiscal year as compared to the corresponding period of last year. The trade deficit during July-December (2022-23) was recorded at $17.133 billion against the deficit of $25.438 billion in July-December (2021-22), a decline of 32.65 percent. The exports during the period were recorded at $14.249 billion against $15.125 billion last year, showing a decline of 5.79 percent. On the other hand, the imports witnessed a sharp decline of 22.63 percent by falling from $40.563 billion last year to $31.382 billion during the current fiscal year.