ISLAMABAD: Exports of non-textile value-added products registered a year-on-year growth of 4.93 per cent in January, a healthy sign of getting more orders from the international market.

The non-textile products exports did not include the export value of food products during the month under review.

In absolute terms, the value of non-textile products reached $553 million in January against $527m over the corresponding month of last year, according to data compiled by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

In the first seven months, the exports of non-textile products saw a meagre growth of 0.8pc to $3.78bn this year against $3.75bn over the corresponding months of last year.

In January, the export of engineering goods saw an increase of 14.95pc followed by 6.14pc in footwear and 19.55pc in gur products (which are not classified under the food category). There were a few other products which also witnessed growth during the month under review.

Contrary to this, the exports of leather garments fell 8.87pc year-on-year in the July-January FY24. The decline was noted in both leather garments and gloves. The exports of raw leather also decreased by 23.72pc during the period under review.

The export of carpets and rugs declined by 22.61pc in 7MFY24. The export of sports goods also declined 8.72pc led by a 1.30pc dip in footballs’ shipments.

Pakistan is one of the main suppliers of global surgical instruments. How­ever, the export value of these instruments rem­ained negligible during July-January FY24 over the same months last year as these are re-marketed in Western countries by famous brands.

At the same time, the export of footwear contracted by over 13.02pc in July-January FY24 from a year ago. Footwear is one of the sectors which saw a growth in exports in FY23.

However, the export of engineering goods witnessed an increase of 4.54pc in 7MFY24 from a year ago. The export of jewellery surged by 39.91pc in 7MFY24, followed by a 28.53pc rise in the export of gur and gur products. However, the export of gems declined by 20pc, furniture 38.09pc, molasses 51.81pc and handicrafts 53.81pc. Contrary to a slump in FY23, the cement exports jumped 49.70pc in 7MFY24.

Petroleum crude exports remained zero, whereas the foreign shipments of petroleum products surged 460pc. The start of 2023-24 saw a continued downward trend in the export of value-added products, significantly impacting non-textile products as well.

However, the exports of food products posted robust growth during the period under review turning many essential food commodities particularly beef, chicken and rice beyond the reach of consumers.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2024

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