ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports of textile and clothing products witnessed an over seven per cent growth in the first nine months of the current fiscal year from a year ago, mainly owing to hike in export of raw cotton and low value-added products.
The export value of textile and clothing reached $10.384 billion in July-March period this year as against $9.616bn over the corresponding period last year, showed data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics here on Tuesday.
Only four products witnessed negative growth in exports among all the textile and clothing categories.
The growth of textile and clothing stagnated around seven per cent in the last few months owing to capacity issues, especially in the Punjab where it is faced with problems like shortage of electricity and gas.
On monthly basis, exports of textile and clothing witnessed a paltry growth of over 6pc in March 2014 over the corresponding month of last year.
This low growth is because of negative growth in export of cotton yarn, cotton carded, towels and tents during the months under review.
Depreciation of Pakistani currency is also one of the pushing factors in export proceeds during the first nine months of the current fiscal year from a year ago. In terms of rupees, export proceeds witnessed a growth of 17.19pc in July-March period this year from a year ago.
Federal Textile Minister Abbas Khan Afridi told Dawn that his ministry was considering various measures to increase exports in the next two to three months.
“We expect that exports of textile and clothing will go up by 10 to 15pc,” the minister claimed.
He said that textile industry is working on a new textile policy envisaging measures for expansion of industry to cope with the rising demand because of the GSP+ scheme.
Export of low value-added products, such as cotton cloth, was up by 6.99pc, yarn other than cotton yarn 10.02pc, and made-up articles excluding towels, bedwear 17.94pc during the months under review over the corresponding months of last year.
In the value added sector, export of bedwear increased by 21.39pc, knitwear 10.21pc and readymade garments 9.36pc.
Exports of towels dipped by 2.55pc; cotton yarn 5.93pc and tents 23.84pc during the months under review over the last year. Raw cotton export witnessed a robust growth of 43.48pc.
Consistent supply of gas to textile sector produced the desired results, especially in Punjab. The growth in yarn and fabric exports was mainly because of improved energy supply.
Total export proceeds witnessed a growth of 5.92pc to $19.082bn in July-March 2014 from $18.015bn over the corresponding period of last year.
Oil and eatables
Oil and eatables import bill witnessed a decline of 2.90pc in the first nine months of the current fiscal year from a year ago, over the corresponding period of last year.
In absolute terms, import bill of these two products declined to $14.014bn in July-March 2014 from $14.433bn during the same period last year.
Pakistan’s total import bill reached $33.037bn during the months under review as against $32.756bn, showing a decline of 2.90pc.
The import bill of food products witnessed a decline of 8.22pc at $3.076bn in July-March 2014 as against $3.351bn over the corresponding months last year.
The decline in food items import was mainly driven by import of palm oil, tea, pulses and spices. Three eatable items import witnessed a substantial increase during the period under review because of shortage in domestic market.
Import of sugar witnessed an increase of 32.40pc, wheat 100pc and dry-fruits 26.26pc during the months under review.
Statistics showed that oil import bill reached $10.938bn in July-March 2014 this year as against $11.082bn over last year, indicating a decline of 1.30pc.
Import of crude oil was up by 6.22pc to $4.303bn during July-March 2014 as against $4.051bn last year.
Import of petroleum products fell to $6.635bn in July-March 2014, down by 5.63pc from $7.03bn last year.