ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s textile exports went down by over 12 per cent in September over a year ago as the textile industry is suffering both on domestic and external fronts due to high cost of production and falling commodity prices.

The country’s textile exports tumbled to $1.09 billion during September 2015 from $1.25 billion of the corresponding period of the previous year, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. Pakistan had failed to enhance textile exports even it got duty-free access to European markets, which was supposed to increase exports by one billion dollars annually.

“We are facing several issues including high cost of production and declining commodities prices in international market, which reduces the country’s textile exports,” said an official of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association while talking to The Nation. He further said that textile sector had observed countrywide strike last week, which forced the government to partially accept our demands of imposing a 10pc regulatory duty on imports of cotton yarn, grey and processed fabric, particularly from India. The government has also decided that the interest rate on the Export Refinancing Facility (ERFF) will be reduced by 1pc to 3.5pc and interest rate of the Long Term Finance Facility (LTFF) has also been reduced from 6pc to 5pc to reduce cost of doing business.

However, the government had not resolved the issues related to electricity prices and zero rating of sales tax, which will be discussed after the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visit to United States, he added.

Pakistan’s textile exports had come down to $3.2 billion during first quarter (July-September) of the ongoing financial year 2015-16 from $3.4 billion of the same period last year. The country’s overall exports had also gone down by 13 percent to $5.2 billion during July-September from $6 billion of the previous year.

The PBS data showed that export of raw cotton registered a growth of 6.57 percent during September 2015 over a year ago. Similarly, exports of made-up articles recorded growth of 3.6 percent.

Meanwhile, all other textile goods had registered negative growth including cotton yarn 30.11 percent, cotton cloth 14.45 percent, cotton carded or combed 41.18 percent, yarn 22.43 percent, knitwear 8.17 percent, bed wear 14.09 percent, towels 0.56 percent, tents, canvas & tarpaulin 60.72 percent, readymade garments 3 percent, art and silk & synthetic textile, 25 percent during the month of September 2015 as compare to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the country’s imports had also gone down by 14.39 percent to $10.7 billion in the first quarter of current fiscal year from $12.5 billion of the same months of the previous financial year.

Import bill of oil witnessed a decline of 42.69 percent to $2.25 billion in first quarter (July-September) of the ongoing financial year 2015-15 from $3.9 billion in the same period last year. The break-up of oil import showed that country imported petroleum products worth of $1.4 billion and crude oil worth of $810 million.

However, the import bill of food products witnessed a decline of 16.17 percent to $1.2 billion as compared to $1.4 billion. The import of milk and its products witnessed an increase of 7.53 percent; pulses 46.96 percent, sugar 165.61 percent, spices 33.38 percent and all tea 45.38 percent.