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September 22, 2020

Textile exports flat at $2.3bln in July-August

Business

September 22, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Textile exports remained flat at $2.28 billion in the first two months of the current fiscal year of 2020/21, though value-added export sector recorded recovery in foreign buying orders, official data showed on Monday.

Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data showed that textile exports amounted to $2.3 billion in the corresponding period a year earlier.

Value-added textile sector, however, showed recovery in exports during the July-August of the current fiscal year. Knitwear exports increased 4.4 percent to $546.3 million during the period under review. Exports of bedwear improved around six percent to $424.2 million. Towel exports rose six percent to $133.1 million, while export of readymade garments increased 2.1 percent to $477.2 million.

Exports continued to fall amid lockdown related to coronavirus outbreak since March. However exports started recovery following the ease in lockdown in August. Overall, exports fell 4.3 percent to $3.6 billion in the July-August period.

Food exports declined 17.8 percent to $535.7 million with rice exports falling more than 25.5 percent to $248 million. In August, textile exports decreased 15.4 percent year-on-year and 21 percent month-on-month to $1 billion, according to the PBS.

In July-August, food imports climbed around 41 percent to $981 million with palm and soybean imports increasing 59.1 percent to $353 million and rising 24 percent to $28.7 million, respectively.

Imports of machinery fell 6.2 percent to $1.3 billion; although power generation machinery imports increased 21.4 percent to $266 million. Imports from transport group fell 18.1 percent to $262 million. Oil imports slid 25 percent to $1.5 billion. Imports in the textile sector, including raw cotton and synthetic fiber, increased 21.1 percent to $391.7 million during the period under review.

Total imports slid around 6 percent to $6.9 billion in July-August. Government is discouraging imports to ease pressure on current account balance. The measures to improve external account position resulted in reduction in current account deficit. But, they led to upsetting industrial sector, making the government to change its import policy and rationalise tariffs. Though it rationalised import tariffs for some industrial inputs, the plan in underway to expand the scope of tariff rationalisation.

In August, imports fell around 11 percent year-on-year and 9.5 percent month-on-month to $3.3 billion. Food imports increased 11 percent year-on-year, but they decreased around 15 percent month-on-month. Machinery imports declined 5.9 percent year-on-year and 4.6 percent month-on-month. Imports from transport sector declined 38.4 percent year-on-year and 32 percent month-on-month. Oil imports fell 24.3 percent year-on-year, but they increased 2.4 percent month-on-month.