KARACHI: Textile exports edged up 2.95 percent to $3.371 billion in the first quarter of the current fiscal year with outbound shipments of knitwear and readymade garments rising in double digits during the period.
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data showed that textile exports amounted to $3.275 billion in the corresponding period a year earlier.
In July-September, knitwear exports climbed 11.14 percent to $779.548 million. In terms of volume, exports from the value-added sector increased 6.8 percent. Likewise, exports of readymade garments increased both in terms of value and volume. Readymade garment exports increased 11.4 percent to $667.361 million. Quantity-wise, there was a hefty 36.6 percent growth year-on-year in the first three months of the current fiscal year. Bed wear exports marginally increased 2.8 percent to $600.562 million, while exports of cotton cloth, however, fell 5.6 percent year-on-year to $499.419 million in the July-September period.
In September, textile group’s exports increased 4.38 percent year-on-year, but they decreased 10.26 percent month-on-month. Exports from value-added sector showed downward trend in September over August.
Exports of knitwear, bed wear, readymade garments, and cotton cloth fell 14.5 percent, 2.5 percent, 15.2 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively, in September over August. Exports of value-added sector increased year-on-year during the last month. In September, knitwear exports rose 7.47 percent, bed wear exports increased 6.25 percent, and readymade garment exports were up 22.1 percent compared with the corresponding month a year ago. Cotton cloth exports, however, fell 4.19 percent year-on-year in September.
Downward trend in value-added sector should be a cause of concern for the government that is struggling to support external account sector by revving up stunted growth in export sector. Total exports, during the first quarter, amounted to $5.522 billion, up 2.76 percent over the corresponding period a year earlier.
PBS data showed that food sector posted 13.98 percent year-on-year growth in exports to $984.757 million in the July-September period. There was a significant 50.7 percent jump in rice exports in the three-month period. Exports of fish, fruits and vegetables also showed double-digit increase during the period under review. Exports from manufacturing sector declined three percent to $803.729 million in the first quarter.
PBS data further showed that oil imports, which contribute 28 percent to overall import bill, sharply dropped 16.55 percent year-on-year to $3.157 billion in the July-September period. Imports of petroleum products and crude fell in value and volume terms. Imports of liquefied natural gas, however, increased 2.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter. Oil imports surged 12.9 percent month-on-month in September, but they remained almost flat year-on-year.
The second biggest import category, machinery, increased a little 2.35 percent year-on-year to $2.341 billion in the first quarter. Imports of agricultural products and other chemicals sharply fell 21.85 percent to $1.816 billion in the three-month period. Food imports followed suit by sliding 24.78 percent year-on-year to $1.096 billion in the July-September period. Metal group imports plummeted 23 percent to $1.006 billion in the first quarter over the corresponding period a year earlier. Import of transport group slid 32 percent to $537.839 million in the three-month period. Textile imports were down 33.36 percent year-on-year to $451.075 million in the period under review.
Total imports, during the first quarter, were reduced to $11.248 billion in the July-September period of FY2020, down 20.58 percent from $14.164 billion in the corresponding period of FY2019.