ISLAMABAD: Textile exports marginally increased around four percent year-on-year to $8 billion in the first seven months of the current fiscal year as value-added exports showed sign of improvement...
ISLAMABAD: Textile exports marginally increased around four percent year-on-year to $8 billion in the first seven months of the current fiscal year as value-added exports showed sign of improvement during the period, official data showed on Monday. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics said textile exports amounted to $7.8 billion in the corresponding period a year earlier.
Readymade garments, one of the main value-added sector, fetched $1.6 billion in July-January FY2019 compared with $1.5 billion in the corresponding period a year earlier, showing a 10.8 percent growth. Bedwear exports rose around three percent to $1.3 billion. Knitwear exports increased 6.2 percent to $1.8 billion during the period under review.
In January, textile exports increased 2.3 percent year-on-year and 4.6 percent month-on-month. In July-January, food exports improved around six percent to $2.6 billion. There was 15.1 percent growth in rice exports, which stood at $1.2 billion as opposed to $1 billion a year earlier. Basmati exports showed a significant growth of 52 percent to $445 million. Exports of fish and fish preparations also increased 16.5 percent to $253 million. Leather exports also increased 11.1 percent year-on-year in the first seven months.
Overall, exports marginally increased 2.2 percent year-on-year in the July-January period. Rupee devaluation is encouraging export-oriented sector to increase outbound shipments, although outstanding tax refunds are raising concerns for them. Time and again, textile industrialists have been questioning the effectiveness of newly-introduced automatic refund payment system in the settlement of refunds. Besides, exports sector still needs to improve its contribution to GDP.
Total imports, during the July-January period, decreased 15.6 percent to $27.3 billion with all the import groups depicting double-digit decline, except machinery. Machinery group imports remained flat at $5.2 billion in the July-January period.
While imports contraction is lending support to the government struggling to curtail current account deficit, it reflects slowdown in industrial activities. Industrial output dropped in the first seven months of the current fiscal year.
Industrialists are concerned over the constant fall in imports that are needed to run the wheel of industries. Economic growth decelerated to 3.3 percent last fiscal year from 5.5 percent in the fiscal year of 2017/18. The growth is expected to fall further below 2 percent during the current fiscal year.
Imports of petroleum dropped 17.9 percent to $7.1 billion during the seven-month period. Imports of agriculture and chemicals fell 15.3 percent to $4.4 billion. Food imports decreased 11.8 percent to $3 billion.
Imports of metal, including gold and iron steel scrap, dropped 19.5 percent to $2.4 billion in the July-June period. Transport imports slid 44.9 percent to $953 million.