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Textile exports remain flat at $11.1 billion in July-April despite stimulus

Business

May 21, 2019

KARACHI: Textile exports remained flat at $11.1 billion in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year of 2018/19 over the corresponding period a year earlier, but value-added sector showed some improvement during the period owing to the government’s measures, including rupee devaluation, to boost outbound shipments, official data showed on Monday.

Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data revealed that exports of readymade garments, knitwear and bedwear increased during the period under review compared to the similar period a year ago. Knitwear exports rose 8.7 percent year-on-year to $2.3 billion. Bedwear exports increased 2.4 percent to $1.9 billion, while exports of readymade garments improved 3.2 percent to $2.1 billion.

Rupee continued to lose its value against the US dollar, encouraging exporters to increase exports on improved margins. Alone last year, the local currency fell 20 percent. The weak rupee however increased cost of doing business and particularly catalysed energy costs.

In July-April, exports of knitwear, bedwear and readymade garments, in terms of quantity, also increased 15.8, 10.11 and 29 percent year-on-year.

Exports of cotton cloth however fell 2.7 percent to $1.7 billion in the July-April period of the current fiscal year. Cotton yarn exports also declined 15.7 percent to $941.3 million, while raw cotton exports sharply slid 67.2 percent to $18.5 million during the period under review.

The last two months of the current fiscal year are important to underpin fragile external account sector through pushing up textile exports, which account for more than 60 percent of the country’s total exports. Textile exports managed to fetch around $13.5 billion in the last fiscal year on Rs180 billion incentives in form of rebates and duty concessions to the export-oriented sector granted by the previous government. That was up nine percent from $12.4 billion from the previous fiscal year.

In April, textile exports amounted to $1.1 billion, up around five percent over the previous month. But, the monthly textile exports remained almost flat compared to the corresponding month a year earlier.

In July-April, the country’s exports were flat at $19.1 billion compared to the corresponding period a year earlier, according to the PBS.

Other major export group, food sector, turned up poor performance in the July-April period of FY2019.

Food exports declined 4.1 percent year-on-year to $3.8 billion during the period under review. Rice exports increased 1.42 percent year-on-year in the July-April period. Exports of manufactured goods remained flat at $2.8 billion in the July-April period. Exports of petroleum group and coal soared 24.4 percent to $418.7 million.

PBS data further showed that food exports decreased 15.1 percent year-on-year and fell 2.7 percent month-on-month to $459 million in April. Rice exports increased 16.7 percent in April 2019 over the corresponding month a year earlier. Exports of rice decreased 5.7 percent month-on-month.

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