Textile exports for the 5MFY18 have shown a moderate increase of 8 percent on a year-on-year basis to clock in at $5.51 billion. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) numbers released last week, textile exports for Nov-17 increased by 7 percent as compared to the corresponding period last year.
The growth was led by value added segments, which managed to counteract the effect of dampening cotton yarn and cotton cloth exports. Taking a closer look at the PBS statistics reveals decent growth in double digits for knitwear exports, which increased by 18 percent while readymade garments and bed-wear posted a 14 percent and 12 percent growth respectively, on a year-on-year basis.
On the other hand, cotton yarn and cotton cloth continued their lacklustre performance to post negative growth of 8 percent and 7 percent respectively, on a month-on-month basis. As this column has analysed over the past months, the scope of these products is diminishing at a rapid pace in the global markets.
Even when it comes to value added segments such as ready-made garments, global trends are shifting towards synthetic fibres, whereas the share of cotton made products has been on a steady decline. Therefore, both the private sector as well as the government needs to focus their policies towards enhancing value addition and abandon the predominant share of cotton in manufacturing.
The players in the value added segments especially ready-made garments have complained to BR Research of the many hurdles they face in remaining competitive in rapidly transforming global markets.
Countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh have focused on shifting their product mix in line with evolving textile consumer preferences, which have allowed them to increase their market share whereas Pakistan’s textile sector is struggling to cope up. The imposition of anti-dumping and regulatory duties on raw materials used by the industry has resulted in increased cost of production for garment exporters. Given that the sector is one of the leading earners of foreign exchange for the economy, policies should be drafted for relief to garment manufacturers and exporters.