ISLAMABAD: Pakis­tan’s merchandise exports registered year-on-year a modest growth of 1.15 per cent in September, reversing the trend after 12 consecutive months of contraction, data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Stati­stics showed on Monday.

However, on a month-on-month basis, the export proceeds increased 4.18pc to $2.465bn in September.

The export of goods in the first quarter (July to September) dipped by 3.78pc to $6.89bn this year against $7.17bn over the corresponding period of last year.

The modest recovery in export proceeds in Septem­ber indicates that the textile and clothing industries have started to receive orders from international buyers after months of slump. However, the true extent of the export recovery will be revealed in the coming months.

Trade deficit narrows 42pc in first quarter

The commerce ministry reported that more than 1,600 textile units had closed down in the past 16 months. However, the commerce ministry has yet to announce the strategic framework to provide regional competitive ene­rgy pricing, working capital support, speedy refund payments, enhanced market access, and diversification of products.

The export proceeds were declining because of internal and external factors stoking up fears about the closure of industrial units, especially textile and clothing.

At the same time, imports also plunged by 25.30pc to $3.95bn in September from $5.29bn in the corresponding month last year. On a month-on-month basis, the imports declined by 12.68pc.

The import bill fell 25.36pc to $12.18bn in July to September FY24 from $16.32bn over the corresponding months of last year.

The imports fell 31pc to $55.29bn in FY23 from $80.13bn in FY22.

The government has projected an import target of $58.69bn for FY24 against $55.29bn in FY23, an incr­ease of $3.4bn or 8.14pc.

The trade deficit narrowed 42.25pc to $5.28bn in July-September FY24 from $9.15bn over the corresponding quarter of last year. The trade deficit fell 47.86pc to $1.48bn in September from $2.85bn over the corresponding month of last year.

Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2023

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