ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s non-textile exports grew 2.85 per cent to $0.82 billion in October compared to $0.8bn in the same month last year, showed data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Thursday.

However, the exports shrank 4.08pc year-on-year to $2.82bn in the first four months (July-October) of this fiscal year due to delays in orders amid Covid-19 lockdowns in major export markets. In the pre-Covid-19 period, an upward trend was noticed in exports of non-textile products largely driven by depreciation of the rupee. Despite global lockdowns, few value-added sectors have maintained growth in proceeds including leather garments, surgical instruments and engineering goods.

Data compiled by the PBS showed that the food basket contracted 17.77pc in the first four months from a year ago. Under this category, exports of rice witnessed a decline of 21.19pc. On the other hand, basmati rice exports dipped 34.87pc in value and 39.77pc in quantity.

Export of fish and fish products declined by 5.93pc while that of fruits dipped by 11.47pc. However, foreign sale of vegetables surged by 20.16pc, tobacco 9.72pc, spices 4.78pc, and meat products 5.83pc during the months under review.

No exports of wheat, sugar, and pulses took place following the imposition of ban in March.

After a long time, leather exports also rebounded by 5.25pc, driven mainly by sales of leather garments, gloves, followed by other products. The exports of engineering goods went up 25.79pc during the period under review.

Footwear exports went down by 5.82pc on the back of leather footwear. Exports of surgical goods and medical instruments declined by 0.40pc.

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2020