Home to over 225 million people, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan boasts the world’s 5th largest population.
Pakistan benefits from a 650-mile (1,046-kilometer) coastline with the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. The South Asian nation also shares borders with key economic powerhouses China to its northeast and India to its east.
Both English and Urdu are official languages in Pakistan. Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language used principally in South Asia while English is used most often for international trade purposes.
Pakistan is often overlooked as a market for selling imported goods. Nevertheless, the Pakistani economy ranks as the world’s 23rd richest in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on a Purchasing Power Parity basis.
The 100 most valuable consumer products imported into Pakistan in 2021 generated a subtotal US$36.6 billion worth of Pakistani spending. That consumer-specific dollar amount represents 50% of the overall value of all goods imported into Pakistan during 2021, up from 43.5% one year earlier. The heavily populated South Asian nation’s overall spending on all imports, including raw materials and intermediate products, totaled $73.1 billion for 2021.
Among Pakistan’s most valuable consumer products in 2021 are: refined petroleum oils, petroleum gas, palm oil, phone devices including smartphones, and coal including solid fuels made from coal.
Total spending on Pakistan’s top 100 imported consumer products rose by 62.9% from 2020 to 2021. Pakistan’s top 100 consumer metric exceeded the 59.5% gain for all of Pakistan’s imported goods for the year.
The acceleration in Pakistani spending for imported consumer products–both overall and consumer–increased at a faster pace than the global average upturn of 26.5% from 2020 to 2021 incorporating all importing countries and all imported goods.
Among the top 100 consumer products imported by Pakistan, 88 expanded in total value from 2020 to 2021 whereas only 12 declined.
Changes in Pakistani consumer demand for essential imports offer future opportunities for international suppliers who correctly anticipate which upward or downward trends will continue.
Consumer Products Defined
Economics educator BoyceWire defines a consumer product as a final good or end product that a business creates for consumers to buy. For example, consumers often purchase refined petroleum oil at the gas station while imported crude oil is an intermediate good subject to further processing before being sold to end users.
Although there may be a few wealthy individual buyers, products like turbojets are excluded from the consumer products targeted by this study. That is because turbojets are usually purchased by corporations. In contrast, it is common for consumers to buy cars, trucks, motorcycles or bicycles.
Types of Consumer Products
This article focuses on 3 distinct consumer product types.
Convenience Products are easy to access, non-durable, have relatively lower prices and therefore consumers frequently purchase them. Examples of convenience products are food, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and soap.
Shopping Products are not as easily available, involve more time to make a buying decision, are durable and are not bought as often as most convenience products. A great example of a shopping product is a mobile phone where buying the wrong model is a much more expensive mistake than buying a stale loaf of bread.
Specialty Products describe another consumer product type. This grey area includes infrequently purchased, expensive, durable and sometimes rare items. Consumers may consider the product’s brand image when making their purchase decisions. Some examples of speciality products are gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, and branded refrigerators and dishwashers.
Pakistani Consumer Imports Smart List
The searchable marketing intelligence table below showcases Pakistan’s 100 highest-value imported consumer products in descending order. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level.
The table’s fourth column is labeled YOY for year over year. The fifth column identifies each entry’s consumer product type.
|1||Processed petroleum oils||$8,023,156,000||+91%||CP|
|4||Phone devices including smartphones||$2,659,697,000||+30.2%||SP|
|5||Coal, solid fuels made from coal||$2,316,777,000||+87.6%||CP|
|8||Hot-rolled iron/non-alloy steel items||$981,039,000||+119.2%||SP|
|9||Electric generating sets, converters||$790,829,000||+47.6%||SY|
|11||Dried shelled vegetables||$760,302,000||+15.9%||CP|
|12||Tea (including flavored)||$596,482,000||+1%||CP|
|14||Computers, optical readers||$437,261,000||+42.2%||SP|
|15||Electrical converters/power units||$416,974,000||-12.5%||SP|
|16||Worn clothing, accessories||$402,700,000||+96.8%||SP|
|18||Rubber tires (new)||$312,810,000||+22.6%||SP|
|21||Electric motors, not generating sets||$201,711,000||+89.8%||SY|
|22||Sugar (cane or beet)||$198,558,000||+53.1%||CP|
|23||Packaged insecticides, herbicides||$186,860,000||-5.1%||SP|
|28||Unrecorded sound media||$147,359,000||+19.1%||SP|
|29||Malt extract, food preparations||$130,793,000||-3.3%||CP|
|30||Other organic cleaning preparations||$121,774,000||+29.4%||CP|
|31||Spices ginger, saffron, thyme, curry||$115,764,000||+19.4%||CP|
|32||Electric storage batteries||$113,912,000||+82.1%||SY|
|36||Dishwash, clean/dry/fill machines||$94,625,000||+45.3%||SY|
|37||Lower-voltage switches, fuses||$94,511,000||+41.8%||SP|
|40||Onions, garlic, leeks||$91,728,000||-30.2%||CP|
|43||Sowing seeds, fruits, spores||$81,140,000||+15.5%||CP|
|44||Miscellaneous food preparations||$76,199,000||+24.4%||CP|
|45||Uncoated paper for writing/printing||$74,718,000||+21.6%||CP|
|46||Miscellaneous plastic items||$73,824,000||+51.7%||CP|
|48||Grapes (fresh or dried)||$71,260,000||+9.1%||CP|
|52||Miscellaneous iron or steel items||$56,956,000||+18%||SP|
|56||Seats (not barber/dentist chairs)||$48,999,000||+124.6%||SP|
|58||Electric water heaters, hair dryers||$47,745,000||+54.2%||SY|
|59||Vulcanized rubber apparel||$46,738,000||+118.9%||SP|
|61||Sewing machines, related furniture||$46,483,000||+55.3%||SY|
|62||Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)||$44,322,000||+144.2%||CP|
|63||Vulcanized rubber items||$42,666,000||-6.6%||SP|
|64||Special hand/machine tools||$42,137,000||+100.9%||SY|
|67||Prepared glues, adhesives||$38,188,000||+27.1%||SP|
|69||Miscellaneous vegetable products||$36,148,000||+3.1%||CP|
|70||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps||$35,696,000||+23.4%||CP|
|72||Household base metal mountings||$32,505,000||+52.7%||SY|
|78||Screws, bolts, washers, hooks, pins||$29,729,000||+9.3%||SP|
|82||Computer parts, accessories||$25,514,000||+48.5%||SP|
|84||Other pharmaceutical goods||$23,944,000||+54.5%||SP|
|85||Miscellaneous items clad with precious metals||$23,258,000||+124.8%||SP|
|86||Miscellaneous glass articles||$22,328,000||+44.6%||SP|
|87||Glass bottles, other containers||$21,832,000||+31.1%||SP|
|89||Medication mixes not in dosage||$21,442,000||+19%||CP|
|90||Chocolate, other cocoa preparations||$21,366,000||+72.9%||CP|
|91||Sheep or lamb raw skins||$20,510,000||+14%||SP|
|92||Cocoa powder (no sweetener)||$20,493,000||+14.3%||CP|
|93||Cases, handbags, wallets||$20,447,000||+30.9%||SP|
|94||Porcelain or china tableware, kitchenware||$20,381,000||+26.4%||SP|
|95||Men's suits,trousers (knit or crochet)||$18,988,000||+82.4%||SP|
|97||Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners||$18,236,000||-22.9%||CP|
|98||Wide knit or crochet fabrics||$17,874,000||+380.1%||SP|
|100||Miscellaneous textile items||$16,795,000||-49.5%||SP|
Using the provided table, you can also peruse the greatest increases or decreases in product values from 2020 to 2021. To do so, click on the heading of the fourth column.
Pakistan’s most popular product type is shopping products (SP) led by imported mobile phones, cars, items made from hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel, and computers. Shopping products represent 45 of the top 100 Pakistani imported consumer goods.
In second place via 37 items are convenience products (CP), articles that are bought routinely, used only once and generally require less thinking time before making a buying decision. Examples include refined petroleum oils, petroleum gas, palm oil, coal, soya beans, dried shelled vegetables, and tea.
There were 18 speciality products (SY) ranking among Pakistan’s top 100 imported consumer goods. Major speciality products imported into Pakistan include electric generating sets or converters, fertilizer mixes, temperature-change machines, air conditioners, liquid pumps, electric storage batteries, and refrigerators or freezers.
Durable consumer products are goods like cars, trucks, printing machinery, insulated wire or cable, and furniture that last a relatively long time. Consumers can put durable products to use again and again. By product type, note that both shopping products and speciality products are considered as durable consumer goods.
Non-durable consumer products (ND) are goods that are not re-used once consumed. Coal, medications, sugar and corn are examples of non-durable goods. Convenience products are uniquely non-durable consumer products like fruits, vegetables or soft drinks and milk.
Based on the product types identified in the above table, 63 of Pakistan’s highest-value consumer imported products are durable while 37 are classified as non-durable.
Fastest-Growing Consumer Imports
Listed below are the top 10 consumer products imported into Pakistan that experienced the highest percentage increases in spending from 2020 to 2021.
- Wide knit or crochet fabrics: Up 380.1% ($17.9 million)
- Temperature-change machines: Up 178.5% ($284.8 million)
- Cars: Up 165.6% ($2.3 billion)
- Miscellaneous fresh fruits: Up 144.2% ($44.3 million)
- Automobile parts/accessories: Up 131.3% ($307.9 million)
- Miscellaneous items clad with precious metals: Up 124.8% ($23.3 million)
- Seats (not barber/dentist chairs): Up 124.6% ($49 million)
- Hot-rolled iron/non-alloy steel items: Up 119.2% ($981 million)
- Vulcanized rubber apparel: Up 118.9% ($46.7 million)
- Potassic fertilizers: Up 110% ($102.5 million)
Seven among the above top 10 gainers are shopping goods and therefore also durable goods that consumers can re-use over time. These fastest-growing products in demand by importers in Pakistan are wide knitted or crocheted fabrics, cars, automobile parts or accessories, miscellaneous items clad with precious metals, seats excluding barber or dentist chairs, items made from hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel, and vulcanized rubber apparel.
Two top growers are specialty goods namely temperature-change machines and potassic fertilizers.
The lone non-durable imported convenience product that led in sales growth is the miscellaneous fresh fruits grouping.
Worst-Declining Consumer Imports
Spending by import buyers in Pakistan on the following 10 items decreased in value at the severest rates from 2020 to 2021.
- Miscellaneous textile items: Down -49.5% ($16.8 million)
- Onions, garlic, leeks: Down -30.2% ($91.7 million)
- Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners: Down -22.9% ($18.2 million)
- Electrical converters/power units: Down -12.5% ($417 million)
- Liquid pumps: Down -11.1% ($148.8 million)
- Nitrogenous fertilizers: Down -9.9% ($30.1 million)
- Tomatoes: Down -7.7% ($59.7 million)
- Vulcanized rubber items: Down -6.6% ($42.7 million)
- Packaged insecticides, herbicides: Down -5.1% ($186.9 million)
- Margarine: Down -4.4% ($18.7 million)
Four product categories among Pakistani top 10 severest decliners are durable shopping products used over a period of time. The worst slippage among those categories was for miscellaneous items made from textile, electrical converters or power units, items made from vulcanized rubber, and packaged insecticides or herbicides.
The strongest declines for durable speciality goods belong to liquid pumps and nitrogenous fertilizers.
Pakistan’s major decliners among top imported non-durable convenience products: are onions, garlic and leeks; sanitary towels and baby napkins or liners; tomatoes; and margarine.
Key Product Suppliers by Country
This analysis reveals competitive suppliers that target demand for 5 of Pakistan’s top consumer import products.
Pakistan’s biggest imported consumer product by value is processed petroleum oils. The other 4 leading consumer goods imported into Pakistan are petroleum gas, palm oil, phone devices including smartphones, and coal.
Below, you will find major supplying countries for Pakistan’s imported goods highlighted below.
Processed petroleum oils: United Arab Emirates (47.4% of total), mainland China (18.4%), Kuwait (17.6%), Singapore (6.1%), Bahrain (2.3%), Oman (1.9%), Malaysia (1.7%), Netherlands (1.3%), South Korea (1.2%), and Saudi Arabia (0.7%).
Petroleum gas: Qatar (53.6% of total), United States of America (10.5%), Egypt (8.5%), Iran (8.4%), Angola (7.1%), United Arab Emirates (2.6%), Iraq (2.1%), Oman (2%), Nigeria (1.3%), and the Netherlands (1.2%).
Palm oil: Indonesia (88.2% of total), Malaysia (11.8%), and the Philippines (0.003%).
Phones: Mainland China (84.5% of total), Vietnam (10.9%), Hong Kong (0.7%), Sweden (0.5%), United States of America (0.2%), United Arab Emirates (0.2%), Malaysia (also 0.2%), Mexico (0.1%), South Korea (0.1%), and Turkey (also 0.1%).
Coal: South Africa (69.1% of total), Indonesia (12.6%), Australia (5.8%), Afghanistan (4.8%), Russia (3.8%), Mozambique (1.8%), United States of America (1.1%), mainland China (0.6%), Mexico (0.34%), and Iran (0.04%).
More great research: Pakistan’s Main Imports by Top Supplier Countries, US Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, 100 Most Valuable Imported Consumer Goods to Sell in Turkey, 100 Best Consumer Goods for Selling to Importers in Russia, 100 Top Consumer Goods to Sell to Importers in Brazil
Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.
BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Pakistan Economy.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Investopedia, Consumer Goods, Consumer Staples Definition, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).
Richest Country Reports, Top 100 Richest Countries by GDP.
Trading Economics, Pakistan Consumer Spending.
Wikipedia, List of largest consumer markets.
World’s Top Exports, Pakistan’s Top 10 Imports.