ISLAMABAD -  Pakistan’s textile exports tumbled by around 6 percent during first quarter (July to September) of ongoing fiscal year (2016-17).

The country exported textile goods worth $3.03 billion during July-September period of FY2017 as against $3.22 billion of the corresponding period of the previous year, according to the fresh data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Meanwhile, textile exports went down by 12.11 percent to $961 million during September 2016 from $1.09 billion of the same month of last year.

Pakistan’s overall exports fell by 9 percent to $4.7 billion during July-September period of the FY2017 from $5.1 billion of last year due to the decline in textile exports . “Pakistan’s exports are no longer competitive, as these became expensive as against the exports of neighboring countries,” said Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan. He said that government is likely to announce an incentives package worth Rs120-Rs180 billion soon to boost the country’s exports. Textile sector would receive the major share of the package, he added.

“We are demanding of the government for the devaluation of the currency against the US dollar and reducing the cost of production to make products more competitive in international market,” said a textile exporter while talking to The Nation. He further said that exporters are also facing electricity and gas shortages and overdue tax refunds, which create liquidity problems for the industry. “The government should resolve all these issues in the proposed package for boosting country’s exports,” he added.

Country’s exports had not surged despite the fact that government had announced a package to boost exports by announcing zero-rated facility for five export-oriented sectors.

According to the PBS data, the break-up of textile’s exports showed that export of cotton yarn declined to $303.8 million during July-September of FY2016-17 from $382.9 million of the same period of last year, showing a decline of 20.68 percent. Cotton cloth export came down to $539.1 million from $560.9 million, registering 3.9 percent fall. Meanwhile, yarn’s export (cotton yarn excluded) recorded a decline of 26.05 percent to $6.98. Knitwear export during the period under review dropped down to $606 million from $630 million. Towels exports reduced by 17.05 percent to $177.9 million in July-September period of the FY2017.

However, exports of towels, tents, canvas & tarpaulin and readymade garments recorded an increase of 74.24 percent to $26 million in the first quarter of the FY2017 from $14.9 million of the same period of the previous year. Meanwhile, exports of bed wear showed growth of 2.82 percent to reach at $528.8 million from $514.7 million. Exports of made-up articles (excluding towels bed-wear) also showed growth of 0.35 percent.

Meanwhile, food sector exports reduced by 20.09 percent to $634.6 million during July-September period of FY2016-17 from $794 million of the last year. In food group, rice exports went down by 27.95 percent to $242.8 million in the first quarter of the current fiscal year as against $336.9 million of previous year. The vegetables exports recorded decline of 41.7 percent and remained at $26.6 million. Interestingly, there is no growth or decline in exports of pulses as they remained at zero level. Wheat exports registered an increase of 100 percent, as country exported wheat worth $96 million. Sugar’s exports declined by 100 percent and meat and its products exports also tumbled by over 25 percent during July-September period.

Meanwhile, the exports of petroleum and coal products decreased by 32.75 percent, manufacturing products by 10.61 percent, while the exports of leather products dropped by 12.01 percent during July-September period of FY 2017.