ISLAMABAD: Exports of non-textile products went up nearly two per cent year-on-year to $4.63 billion during July-December period mainly due to a double-digit growth in eatables.
The upward trend in non-textile products shows exports from these sectors have rebounded in the ongoing fiscal year.
This may be due to highest-ever depreciation of the rupee, which was highly concentrated in few textile-based products.
Under various subsidy schemes, the government had extended cash support to leather, footwear, sports goods, surgical, engineering, furniture, meat and meat products, fish products and cutlery manufacturers in a bid to increase non-textile exports.
The data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics showed that the food basket has posted a double-digit growth of 10.26pc during the first half year from a year ago.
In the food basket, exports of rice witnessed a robust increase of 26.30pc in the first half of current fiscal year from a year ago. The growth was witnessed in both basmati and non-basmati rice variants. This will be the highest export proceeds of rice from the country in half year owing to shortage of the commodity in major rice-producing countries.
The rising exports of vegetables and other food group items have increased price pressures on these commodities in the local market. Further, the prices of tomatoes – the most common staple used in the kitchens increased three-fold following a shortage in the first half of current fiscal year.
Exports of fish, meat and vegetable are the other three major commodities which recorded impressive growth during the period under review. However, exports of sugar, tobacco, fruits, wheat and spices posted negative growth.
After a long time, exports of leather products rebounded jumping by 11.06pc during this period. This was mainly led by sales of leather garments, gloves, followed by other products.
Footwear exports went up by 17.75pc on back of leather footwear and others, surgical goods and medical instruments by 9.56pc. And engineering goods went up by 3.5pc during the year under review.
Contrary to these, exports of carpet and rug declined in value by 1.16pc but increased in quantity by 4.13pc during the first half of current fiscal year from a year ago.
However, sports goods’ exports went down slightly by 0.5pc and foreign sales of footballs were up by 13.36pc. Tanned leather exports witnessed a negative growth of 18.74pc in July-December from a year ago.
Data showed a year-on-year decline of 37.66pc in exports of petroleum products. The overall petroleum group — crude and naphtha contributed to overall decline in sector’s exports.
Year-on-year exports of gems surged 17.96pc. However, export of molasses dropped by 97.67pc, jewellery 16.53pc, while those of cement and furniture fell by 7.48pc and 13.32pc respectively.
Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2020