Tuesday April 23, 2024

Textile exports rise 3pc to $1.3 billion in March

By Our Correspondent
April 03, 2024
In this image, a man can be seen working in a textile factory in Pakistan. — AFP/File
In this image, a man can be seen working in a textile factory in Pakistan. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Textile exports witnessed a modest increase of 3 percent year-on-year in March, reaching $1.3 billion up from $1.26 billion in the same month last year, according to provisional figures released by the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) on Tuesday.

The rise marks the fourth consecutive month of year-on-year growth for the sector, which accounts for over half of the nation’s total exports and serves as a vital source of foreign exchange.

Despite this uptrend, the country’s textile exports for the first nine months of the fiscal year 2023-2024 experienced a slight decline of 0.3 percent, falling by $0.04 billion to $12.44 billion.

In February, the sector saw a significant 20 percent surge year-on-year, with exports totaling $1.41 billion. However, compared to February, March exports showed a nearly 8 percent decrease.

Analyst attributed the growth in the textile goods to increased production of the textile goods during the month. They said the growth trend in the export of textile goods was set in the last three months and this momentum didn’t break even in March when the situation further improved in terms of gas supply to the sector, which resulted in increased productivity during the month.

With the country grappling with a shortage of foreign exchange, textile exports play a pivotal role in bridging this gap. They constitute a substantial portion of the nation's exports, contributing significantly to its foreign exchange reserves. The reliance on textile exports to bolster reserves is crucial for Pakistan, which often resorts to borrowing to address its foreign exchange needs.

The textile manufacturers did not issue detailed figures for the exports of their products in Februray. March's promising growth signals optimism for Pakistan's economy, suggesting potential for further expansion despite challenges in maintaining steady growth amidst fluctuating global demand. Efforts to bolster the textile sector are crucial for Pakistan's economic stability and growth, requiring attention to structural issues, technology investment, and business environment improvement.