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Business

August 11, 2017

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Exports up 10.6 percent to $1.631 billion in July

Exports up 10.6 percent to $1.631 billion in July

KARACHI: The country’s exports rose 10.58 percent to $1.631 billion in July over the same month a year earlier, while imports also increased 36.74 percent year-on-year to $4.835 billion in the first month of the current fiscal year, official data showed on Thursday.

Exports amounted to $1.475 billion in July 2016, while imports stood at $3.536 billion, said Pakistan Bureau of Statics (PBS).   Recovery in exports in July indicated that exporters were willowing to boost the external sector after the long-pending issue of stuck refunds has been resolved. 

In July, exports, however, fell 14.7 percent over June. Imports increased 6.64 percent month-on-month during the month under review. In June, exports stood at $1.912 billion, while imports amounted to $4.534 billion.

Trade deficit widened 55.46 percent year-on-year to $3.204 billion in July. It swelled 22.2 percent month-on-month.    Officials said exports are declining due to subdued demand in the international markets as well as reduction in global commodity prices. The government, in the budget for the current fiscal year, announced reduction in export refinance and long-term finance facilities to encourage exporters. 

In January, it also unveiled export incentive package worth Rs180 billion to be disbursed in shape of rebates and refunds to the exporters who would jack up exports by the end of the current fiscal year. The government is also settling the outstanding refund claims of the export-oriented sectors to get them rid of liquidity crunch.

Weak export is weighing on anemic external sector, leading to rise in current account deficit.  The government envisaged an ambitious $35 billion export target for FY2018 and targeted to increase export to GDP ratio to 12 percent. Exports stood at $22 billion in 2016/17. 

Meanwhile, exports of services edged up 1.76 percent to $5.554 billion in the last fiscal year of 2016/17. Service exports earned the country $5.458 billion in the preceding fiscal year, said PBS. 

The country’s foreign trade in services is related to freight transport and passenger travelling, embassies and consulates, auditing and bookkeeping and information and communication technology.  

Imports of services also increased 2.96 percent to $9.127 billion in 2016/17. Services import bill stood at $8.864 billion in 2015/16. The country raked in $3.572 billion in trade deficit in services sector during the last fiscal year, up 4.89 percent over a year ago. 

In June, trade deficit, however, fell 13.14 percent month-on-month to $407.67 million. It rose 26.17 percent during the month over the same month a year ago. 

Services exports earned the country $443.29 million in June, up 13.21 percent over May. Exports of services also increased 5.48 percent in June as compared to the same month a year earlier.

In June, imports of services fell 1.15 percent to $850.96 million as compared to the previous month, while imports rose 14.47 percent during the month under review over the same month a year ago.

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