ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports of textile and clothing rebounded in April mainly due to value-added sectors and posted a robust growth of 231.17 per cent from a year ago, data compiled by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed.

The export value of these sectors edged up to $1.337 billion in April from $403.833 million over the corresponding month of last year. Growth in exports of value-added sectors contributed to an increase in overall exports from the sectors.

The highest growth in exports in April is due to low-base of last year when export-oriented industries remained closed due to the Covid-19 lockdown and cancellation of orders from international buyers. As a result of this low base, growth was reflected in value-added and non-value added textile products.

The July-April (10MFY21) figures showed that growth in textile and clothing exports came from the value-added sector. The value of exports reached $12.692bn in 10MFY21 as against $10.816bn over the corresponding months of last year, showing a growth of 17.35pc.

To address the issue of shortage of cotton yarn for the value-added sector, the Economic Coordination Committee in its last meeting allowed duty-free import of cotton yarn until June 30, 2021. It will be difficult for the value-added sector to retain the orders in case government does not facilitate timely availability of cotton yarn in the domestic market.

Product-wise details reveal exports of ready-made garments up by 12.56pc in value, followed by knitwear 30.69pc, bedwear 24.66pc and towels 27.18pc during 10MFY21. Pakistan and China’s apparel exports posted a substantial growth to United States compared to regional countries during the past few months.

The government has already abolished duty and taxes on industrial raw materials and is paying off pending refunds to exporters. The devaluation of the rupee and lower interest rate accelerated industrial growth, especially in the export-oriented industries.

According to the PBS data, the export of cotton yarn posted growth of 164pc in April from a year ago. However, export of cotton yarn posted a negative growth 4.03pc in 10MFY21.

The exports of cotton cloth revived and posted a growth of 200.44pc in April from a year ago. In 10MFY21, growth is still in negative of 1.24pc. The export of cotton carded posted a growth of 3.17pc in 10MFY21. The export of yarn other than cotton yarn also recorded a growth of 22.42pc during the months under review.

In the non-value-added sectors, exports of tents and canvas were up 21.86pc followed by art and silk which increased by 10.52pc, made-up articles excluding towels and bedwear were up 22.22pc and other textile products saw an increase of 39.24pc during the 10-months under review.

Between July and April, the overall exports reached $20.905bn as against $18.398bn over the corresponding months of last year, indicating a growth of 13.63pc.

In the 10 months of this fiscal year, the import of textile machinery posts a growth of 13.9pc. This indicates that the industry has started importing textile machinery as part of modernisation or expansion in the sector.

To bridge the shortfall in the domestic sector, industry imported 709,020 tonnes of raw cotton between July to April against 409,306 tonnes last year, showing an increase of 73.22pc. Similarly, the import of synthetic fibre posted growth of 49.80pc as industry imported 381,928 tonnes this year as against 254,951 tonnes a year ago.

The import of synthetic and artificial silk yarn stood at 351,884 tonnes this year as against 224,197 tonnes last year, showing an increase of 56.95pc. The import of worn clothing recorded a growth of 61.52pc to 551,621 tonnes this year as against 341,522 tonnes last year.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2021

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