Tuesday May 28, 2024

Textile exports jump 37 percent in Feb

Complete lockdown in India and Bangladesh pushed international buyers to seek Pakistani exporters

By Tanveer Malik
March 04, 2022

KARACHI: The country’s textile exports jumped 37 percent to hit the highest ever level of $1.69 billion in February on the back of orders captured from competing economies during the Covid peak, official data showed on Thursday.

Complete lockdown in India and Bangladesh pushed international buyers to seek Pakistani exporters. “Pakistan opted for smart lockdown, instead of going for complete lockdowns, which aided industries in continuing their fight against the pandemic,” a leading textile exporter said.

According to latest figures of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) compiled by Arif Habib Limited (AHL), exports of textile goods jumped to $1.69 billion compared to $1.23 billion in the same month last year, registering massive growth of almost 37 percent. The export figures of textile sector were also up nine percent compared to the preceding month of January this fiscal.

During the first eight months of financial year 2021-22, export of textile goods surged to $12.62 billion against $10 billion in the corresponding months of last financial year, posting 26.2 percent growth. Pakistan’s textile exports have been on a growth trajectory in the last several months despite gas shortage and expensive power, which textile exporters lived with to realise the full potential of the textile sector.

“Pakistan is still benefiting from the export orders it captured in the peak times of Covid in the world, when its competitors went under complete lockdown and Pakistan managed to keep its industrial sector open by opting for the smart lockdown policy,” Javed Bilwani, chairman, Pakistan Apparel Forum said.

He pointed out that though the figures were impressive, the numbers would have been even higher if the country did not have to face gas shortage during winter.

About future prospects, Bilwani feared that export of textile goods might get hurt because of gas shortage, with severity increasing as RLNG prices rise in the world.

Referring to Russia-Ukraine conflict, the chairman said it raised some serious concerns about the movement of gas prices in the international market, especially once European nations begin purchasing gas from the global market following supply disruptions from Russia. “A country like Pakistan would be in a vulnerable situation, as expensive RLNG is not affordable for us,” he noted.