ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s non-textile exports grew 24.59 per cent year-on-year to $4.61 billion in the first five months of the current fiscal year owing to the partial revival of international orders and the government support schemes.

Overall growth in the non-textile sector is mainly led by the value-added sectors. The non-textile sectors have yet to receive full orders to pre-Covid levels, showed data compiled by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

In FY21, three sectors — leather garments, surgical instruments and engineering goods — have maintained growth in export proceeds despite lockdowns in many countries.

In the value-added leather sector, exports of leather garments up by 10.42pc, leather gloves 11.81pc respectively. The exports of raw leather increased by 37.96pc in 5MFY22, which is indicating that it is not fully being used in the domestic value-added domestic industries.

Pakistan is one of the main suppliers of global surgical instruments. However, these instruments are re-marketed from western countries with famous brands. As a result, the export value of these products remain very less.

The exports of surgical instruments posted a negative growth of 3.35pc, followed by 0.59pc decline in pharmaceutical products during the period under review.

The export of footwear increased by 13.91pc in 5MFY22, led by leather and canvas footwear. The export of engineering products up 16.42pc mainly led by machinery specialised for particular industries, auto parts and accessories and other machinery. However, the export of electric fans and transport equipment posted a negative growth during the months under review.

The exports of carpets up by 17.89pc in 5MFY22, followed by an increase of 24.48pc in foreign sales of sport goods. The sales of football up by 19.34pc and gloves 12.9pc, respectively.

In the budget 2021-22, the government has proposed several measures including reduction in duty on raw materials to promote exports of pharmaceutical, plastic, chemicals, engineering, and value-added textile products.

Food shortages in domestic market and lesser demand in international market led to overall drop in demand for Pakistani food products, especially fruits.

However, the PBS data showed that the food exports posted a growth of 26.89pc in the 5MFY22 from a year ago. Under this category, exports of rice witnessed an increase of 13.07pc. On the other hand, basmati exports edged up 32.99pc in value and 45.48pc in quantity while non-basmati exports were up by 5.74pc in value.

The export of spices was up by 29.63pc, followed by oil seeds, nuts 478pc, meat and products 0.10pc. However, export of fish product declined by 9.72pc during the period under review. Contrary to this, export of vegetables up by 31.47pc, fruits 27.69pc, tobacco 26.96pc.

The exports of furniture up by 206pc during July-November period.

The exports of cement dropped by 6.21pc in 5MFY22 followed by 1.63pc in exports of jewellery, 69.23pc in molasses, 100pc in handicrafts, and 1.47pc in gur and its products.

Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2021

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