ISLAMABAD: Exports of textile and clothing products recorded a 7.7 per cent growth year-on-year to $9.99 billion in the first nine months of 2017-18, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported on Monday.

The revival in the export proceeds from these sectors is due to the cash subsidy offered under the prime minister’s exports enhancement package with maximum refunds/rebate of exporters being cleared in FY18. However, there are still outstanding amount which was yet to be released.

The main driver of growth was the value-added textile sector as exports of ready-made garments went up 12.56pc during the period in value and 12.85pc in quantity while those of knitwear edged up 14.12pc in value and 3.52pc in quantity during these nine months. Exports of bedwear went up 4.99pc in value and 3.16pc in quantity.

However, exports of towels posted a paltry growth of 1.18pc in value and 9.3pc in quantity. Exports of cotton cloth posted a growth of 1.05pc in value and 2.46pc in quantity during the period under review.

In the category of primary commodities, exports of cotton yarn witnessed an increase of 4.9pc while those of yarn other than cotton recorded a rise of 31.34pc.

Exports of made-up articles, excluding towels, increased 7pc while art, silk and synthetic textile exports grew 70.39pc during the period under review.

However, exports of tents, canvas and tarpaulin dipped over 38.39pc whereas proceeds from raw cotton recorded a surged by 35.76pc.

The total export proceeds posted a growth of 13.1pc to $17.07bn in July-March 2018 from $15.09bn over the corresponding period of last year.

The non-textile exports went up by 21.64pc to $7.08bn in July-March 2018 from $5.82bn in the same period of last year.

Data show a mammoth increase of 115.16pc in exports of petroleum products, which along with petroleum crude and naphtha, led the increase in overall sector exports.

Exports of carpets and rugs fell by 5.33pc during July-March FY18 from a year ago. On the other hand, foreign sales of sports goods went up by 4.81pc during the period under review, with football exports higher by 9.76pc. Tanned leather exports, however, shrank by 4.75pc in July-March from a year ago.

Leather products’ exports increased by 4.03pc during this period and were mainly led by sales of leather gloves. Footwear exports rose by 11.78pc during the period under review despite facing strong competition especially from Chinese exporters in Europe despite preferential market access.

Exports of surgical goods and medical instruments went up by 13.05pc and engineering goods by 12.49pc during these nine months. Foreign sales of gur (jaggery) soared by 31.24pc, handicrafts 40pc, jewellery 9.19pc and molasses 247.8pc while the exports of cement fell by 13pc, and furniture 14.58pc during the period under review.

In the food basket, exports of rice witnessed an increase of 28pc owing to higher foreign sales of both basmati and non-basmati rice.

Published in Dawn, April 24th, 2018

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