ISLAMABAD-Pakistan’s textile and clothing exports have increased by 2.92 percent in the first quarter (July to September) of the current fiscal year. 

The country has exported textile and clothing worth $3.47 billion in July to September period of the year 2020-21 as against $3.37 billion in the same period of the last year, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Meanwhile, the textile and clothing exports have shown handsome growth of 11.3 percent and were recorded at $1.19 billion in the month of September. The exports have rebounded after showing decline in last few months. As a result of Covid-19, the demand for country’s exports has collapsed during the last few months.

The PBS data showed that ready-made garments exports went up by 5.24 percent during September. Export of knitwear increased by 10.46 percent and bed wear by 8.4 percent. Towel exports enhanced by 8.4 percent whereas those of cotton cloth dipped by 8.48 percent.

Among primary commodities, cotton yarn exports plunged by 42.65 percent, yarn other than cotton by 22.77 percent and raw cotton declined by 97.5 percent in September. On the other hand, tents, canvas and tarpaulin increased by a massive 78.71 percent during the month under review.

The import of textile machinery dropped by 25.29 percent during the first quarter of the current fiscal year — a sign that no expansion or modernisation projects were taken up by the industry in the given period. 

Oil imports

Petroleum imports declined 26.55 percent in July to September period of ongoing financial year to $2.33 billion, compared to $3.17 billion of the last year. It is estimated that petroleum consumption since March 22 has fallen significantly since the full lockdown was enforced and private transport came to a standstill. Of these, petroleum product imports were down by 14.68 percent in September. Similarly, import of crude oil declined by 15.86 percent during September while those of Liquefied Natural Gas fell by 56.52 percent in value.

On the other hand, liquefied petroleum gas imports jumped 46.83 percent in value in September. In the telecommunication group, imports surged by 3.65 percent led by mobile handsets higher by 83.17 percent. This was the result of a crackdown on smuggling and doing away with free imports in baggage schemes. Import of other apparatus fell by 7.78 percent. The overall transport group also witnessed contraction of 22.9 percent.

An increase of 50.09 percent was seen in imports of textile group — raw cotton, synthetic and artificial silk yarn. The overall food group import jumped by 56.04 percent during September from a year ago. The government import wheat and sugar to bridge the local shortages.

The PBS data showed that Pakistan’s exports have declined by 0.94 percent to $5.46 billion in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. Meanwhile, the country’s imports have recorded minor increase of 0.56 percent and swelled to $11.26 billion. The country’s trade deficit was recorded at $5.8 billion in July to September period of the year 2020-21 as compared to $5.69 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year.