ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s textile and clothing exports grew by over four per cent year-on-year during the first four months of 2019-20, showed data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday.
The modest increase in export proceeds and the decline in import of oil and food products helped the government achieve a current account surplus in October after a gap of five years.
Export of textile and clothing rose by 4.1pc to $4.58 billion in July-October period compared to $4.40bn in the corresponding months of last year.
Meanwhile for October, the sector’s export proceeds were recorded at $1.214bn up by 7.44pc to $1.13bn in the same month last year.
The aggregate import bill decreased 19.21pc year-on-year to $15.32bn in July-October from $18.96bn.
Product-wise details reveal that exports of yarn other than cotton jumped by 21.24pc, art, silk and synthetic textile by 9.44pc and raw cotton 0.78pc.
In the value-added sector, exports of knitwear were up by 9.49pc in value and 6.5pc in quantity, followed by 5.72pc and 19.35 in bedwear, respectively. Foreign sales of ready-made garments rose by 12pc in value and 31.98pc in quantity while proceeds from towel only inched by a modest 0.8pc.
On the other hand, primary commodities whose exports declined during the period include cotton yarn, down 2.44pc, cotton cloth 4.83pc and other textile materials 7.7pc.
Machinery imports posted an increase of 3.17pc to $3.11bn from $3.02bn last year, led by power generating, up 14.21pc, telecom 19.42pc and electrical machinery 9.61pc.
In telecom, mobile handsets soared 48.88pc to $387.7m while other apparatus plunging by 21.36pc to $147.94m. The increase in former was the result of crackdown on smuggling and doing away with free imports in baggage schemes.
Early revival of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects and releases in Public Sector Development Programme spending contributed to the increase in machinery import bill.
On the other hand, the import of machineries related to agriculture, textile, construction among others declined.
The import bill of petroleum group dipped 19.49pc to $4.16bn during July-October, with the largest drop coming from crude oil at 30.29pc. A 14.57pc decline was recorded in terms of quantity to 2.65m tonnes.
The cost of petroleum products’ plunged 23.04pc during the period with 11.73pc decline recorded in terms of quantity imported; bringing the total down to 3.06m tonnes.
Liquefied natural gas imports edged lower by 0.19pc, while those of liquefied petroleum gas surged 23.83pc during the period under review.
The overall transport group also witnessed a decrease of 37.76pc as imports of motor vehicle (CBU) were down 46.94pc during July-October.
Food group imports fell by 20.34pc during July-October mainly due to imposition of regulatory duties on proceeds.
Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2019