ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s textile and clothing exports posted impressive growth in the first quarter of this year, increasing by 27.41 per cent to $4.42 billion compared to $3.46bn over the year, data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed on Saturday.

The growth momentum is steady in the export proceeds on the back of rising demand from global market coupled with massive depreciation of the rupee as exports posted a growth of over 25pc in September from a year ago.

It is believed that the easing of lockdown in North America and European countries — top markets for Pakistani textile goods — will help boost the exports. The demand for textiles collapsed during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, but eventually recovered in the outgoing fiscal year.

In the last budget, the government had drastically reduced duty and taxes on imports of several hundred raw materials to bring down the input cost of exportable products. Liquidity issues were also resolved to a large extent by timely releasing refunds as well as payment of cash subsidies.

The government is also finalising a proposal to give subsidy on gas, LNG and electricity to the export-oriented industries.

Surge to $4.42bn in the first quarter of this fiscal year

The PBS data showed ready-made garments exports jumped by 22.77pc in value and in quantity by 19.76pc during July-Sept FY22, while those of knitwear edged up 32.97pc in value and 1.30pc in quantity, bed wear posted positive growth of 23.30pc in value and 23.41pc in quantity.

Towel exports were up by 17.94pc in value and 13.98pc in quantity, whereas those of cotton cloth rose by 21.88pc in value and dipped by 75.32pc in quantity.

Among primary commodities, cotton yarn exports surged by 69.30pc, while yarn other than cotton by 122.53pc. The export of made-up articles — excluding towels — rose by 14.38pc, and tents, canvas and tarpaulin dipped by a massive 24.87pc during the months under review. The export of raw cotton declined by 100pc during the months under review.

The import of textile machinery increased by 144.53pc in July-Sept FY22 — a sign that expansion or modernisation projects were taken up by the textile industry during the months.

To bridge the shortfall in the domestic sector, the industry imported 166,524 tonnes of raw cotton in July-Sept FY22 against 131,360 tonnes last year, an increase of 26.77pc. Similarly, the import of synthetic fibre posted growth of 7.30pc as industry imported 133,902 tonnes this year as against 124,791 tonnes. The import of synthetic and artificial silk yarn stood at 118,287 tonnes this year as against 95,367 tonnes last year, a rise of 24.03pc.

The import of worn clothing recorded a growth of 219 pc to 266,747 tonnes this year as against 83,552 tonnes last year.

The overall country’s exports posted a growth of over 27.87pc year-on-year to $6.996bn in July-Sept FY22 compared to $5,471bn in the corresponding period last year.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2021

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