Textile exports increased around eight % to $5.51 billion during the first five months of the current fiscal year of 2017/18 as value-added sector posted a decent growth, official data showed in last week.
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data showed that textile industry, which accounts for over 60 % of the country’s exports, fetched $5.12 billion in export revenue during the corresponding period a year earlier. Knitwear, bed wear, towels, readymade garments and made-up articles that constitute value-added textile sector increased foreign inflows.
Exports of knitwear rose 12.1 % to $1.09 billion in July-November FY2018. In quantity terms too, knitwear exports witnessed a 12.8 % growth.Readymade garments’ export rose 14.7 % to $1.02 billion in the period under review. Exports of garments also registered 11.5 % increase in quantity terms.
Bed-wear exports rose 6.7 % to $947.52 million. Made-up articles other than bedwear and towel earned the country $281.97 million, depicting a 7.9 % rise over the comparable period. Exports of towel, however, remained flat at $317.36 million in the first five months.
In November, textile exports marginally fell 1.1 % to $1.12 billion as compared to October, but they rose 7.5 % over the same month a year earlier. Growth in exports is giving a much-needed respite to anemic external sector bitten by soaring imports, which albeit pro-development is a main catalyst to widening current account deficit.
Analysts have been ascribing the recovery in exports to exporters’ eagerness to avail tax benefits under the Rs180 billion worth of trade enhancement package, which conditioned incentives with at least 10 % increase in exports. Weak rupee – the currency lost eight % against the US dollar since July – is also giving a shot in the arm as it is improving income of exporters in rupees.
PBS data further showed that food exports climbed 13.1 % to $1.49 billion in the first five months of FY2018. Rice was the key export item in food group, earning the country $644.37 million, up 15.6 %. In quantity terms, rice exports increased 16 % to 1.35 million metric tons.
Exports from manufacturing sector, comprising sports goods, leather, engineering products and chemicals jumped 10 % to $1.41 billion in the period under review. Total exports, in July-November, amounted to $9.03 billion, showing a rise of 10.5 %. Meanwhile, imports, during the five-month period, surged 21.1 % to $24.1 billion.
Imports of petroleum products shot up 36 % to $5.56 billion. Machinery imports fell 2.2 % to $4.53 billion. Imports of agriculture and chemicals climbed 21.2 % to $3.58 billion. Food imports rose 16.1 % to $2.72 billion. Import of metal group increased 33 % to $2.13 billion. Transport imports amounted to $1.65 billion, depicting a major jump of 41.3 %, while imports of textile product, including cotton and worn clothing, inched up 0.93 % to $1.13 billion in July-November.
In November, imports inched down 0.63 % month-on-month to $4.89 billion, but they grew 16.5 % year-on-year. Big tickets included oil imports ($1.23 billion), followed by machinery ($863 million), agriculture and other chemicals ($744 million), food ($520 million), metal ($383 million), transport ($354 million), and textile ($239 million), according to PBS.