ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s textile exports declined by 11.6 percent to $9.4 billion during first nine months (July-March) of the ongoing financial year from $10.2 billion of the corresponding period of last year.

Exports of all major textile commodities witnessed reduction except towels and readymade garments, according to the latest figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Export of towels registered minor increase of 0.21 percent and readymade garments’ exports enhanced by 4.2 percent to $1.6 billion during July-March 2015-2016 from $1.5 billion of the same period of previous year.

“Textile exports are on the declining side due to the lower cotton production in the country and slowdown in the economy of China,” said an official of the Ministry of Commerce. He further said that Pakistan’s cotton production target for the outgoing season (2015-16) is likely to be missed by 35 percent and cotton output is expected at 10.1 million bales against the initial target of 15.49 million bales. Abnormal weather, seed quality, pests and disease and low prices negatively affected the cotton production.

The latest official figures showed that raw cotton export declined to $75.3 million during July-March period from $142 million of the same period of last fiscal year, reflecting a decline of 46.97 percent. Meanwhile, export of cotton yarn declined to $989.841 million from $1.5 billion, showing decrease of 32.45 percent. Similarly, cotton cloth export declined to $1.7 billion from $1.9 billion, denoting a 10.14 percent fall.

Cotton carded or combed export reduced by 97.88 percent; yarn other than cotton yarn export dwindled by 20.38 percent to $26.5 million during July-February 2015-16 from $33.3 million of the previous year. Knitwear export during the period under review decreased to $1.7 billion from $1.8 billion and bedwear’s export reduced to $1.5 billion from $1.6 billion. Similarly, exports of canvas & Tarpaulin, art, silk & synthetic textile and made-up articles (excluding towels bed-wear) also showed declined.

Pakistan’s overall exports reduced by 12.92 percent to $15.6 billion during July-March of the ongoing fiscal year from $17.9 billion of the same months of the last year mainly due to the massive decline in textile exports.

According to the PBS figures, exports of food items reduced by 11.59 percent, as country spent $3 billion on exporting food commodities during the months of July-March 2015-16. The break-up of food group showed that following food commodities have recorded negative growth: rice 12.34 percent, fruits 5.34pc, tobacco 19.08pc, wheat 91pc, oil seeds, nuts and kernels 66.49 percent, sugar 36.37 percent and all other food commodities 14.58 percent during the period under review. However, spices recoded growth of 17.82 percent and meat and meat production 16.76 percent.

Meanwhile, exports of petroleum and coal products decreased by 74.74 percent, manufacturing products by 16.3 percent and leather manufacturing by 13.36 percent during July-March of the ongoing financial year.

According to the PBS data, the country’s imports went down by 4.22 percent to $32.5 billion from $33.9 billion of the previous year mainly due to huge decline in oil and food prices in international market. Pakistan’s oil import bill reduced by $3.3 billion during July-March of the ongoing financial year. The country imported petroleum products worth $5.58 billion during July-March of FY2016 as against $8.9 billion of the corresponding period of the previous year, showing a decline of around 37.24%.