ISLAMABAD: Textile and clothing exports experienced slower growth for the second month in April, reversing the previous month’s double-digit increase.

Exports inched up 0.37 per cent to $1.24 billion in April, compared to $1.23 billion in the same month last year, according to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Thursday. This indicates stagnant orders from international buyers.

On a month-on-month basis, the sector’s exports dipped 4.84pc.

In 10MFY24, however, textile and clothing exports shrank 0.19pc to $13.68bn from $13.71bn in the same month last year.

Industry fears contraction if pending refunds not released

The decline in growth was attributed to rising production costs due to higher energy prices and a liquidity crunch. The textile industry has warned the government that further decline is likely if their grievances, including pending refunds, are not resolved on priority.

The PBS data showed exports of readymade garments rose 17.73pc by value in April and 19.70pc by quantity, while knitwear grew 1.44pc by value and 59.54pc by quantity. Bedwear posted a negative growth of 7.11pc in value but posted a growth of 1.74pc in quantity.

Towel exports rose 1.45pc in value and 6.25pc in quantity, whereas cotton cloth went down by 7.96pc in value but rose 12.53pc in quantity, respectively.

Yarn exports fell by over 15.11pc in April over the same month last year. The exports of made-up articles, excluding towels, increased by 6.01pc, and tents, canvas and tarpaulin went down by 34.66pc in April.

The import of textile machinery declined by 10.45pc in April, indicating that expansion or modernisation projects were not a priority.

The import of synthetic fibre increased by 16.47pc, that of synthetic and artificial silk yarn by 30.75pc and other textile items by 85.53pc during the month. The import of raw cotton declined by 60.15pc. However, the import of second-hand clothes posted a growth of 60.90pc.

In the first 10 months of FY24, total exports increased by 9.10pc to $25.27bn this year against $23.17bn over the same period last year.

Oil imports

PBS data showed that oil imports dipped by 1.53pc during the first 10 months of FY24 to $13.76bn from $13.97bn a year ago.

The import of petroleum products fell by 14.09pc in value and 6.47pc in quantity during July-April. Imports of crude oil increased by 17.38pc in quantity while the value increased by 10.40pc.

Mobile phones

Mobile phone imports surged by 209.07pc to $1.46bn in 10MFY24 from $473.28m over the same period last year, representing the largest share of overall machinery import value in the first 10 months of FY24. Other mobile apparatus grew 21.58pc to $372.12m in 10MFY24 from $306.07m last year.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2024

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