ISLAMABAD

Pakistan’s textile exports plunged by over 10 per cent in October from a year ago mainly due to continuous energy shortage, high cost of production and declining prices globally.

Country’s textile exports were $1.05 billion in October 2015 as against $1.18 billion of the same month of last year, down 10.69 percent, according to the latest figures of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

Textile industry representatives said that the exports plunge was due to the fact that the government had failed to support producers. “We are almost out of the business in international market due to the higher prices of electricity. Other countries are providing incentives to their textile sector,” said an official of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), wishing not to be named.

On the other hand, owing to the prevailing crisis, some textile industrialists are shifting their investments to other more lucrative sectors like cement, wood, and fertilizers, though these industries, unlike textiles, focus on the domestic market mainly. One mill owner, who moved from textile to cement production in 2011, told The Nation that his yarn could not compete with Chinese products in the international market. “I was running textile mill in 2010-11. But I was unable to meet the expenditures of the mill. Then I had started cement business after facing massive loss in textile,” said Mohammad Saleem, an industrialist of Faisalabad city, while talking to The Nation. “There is a vibrant market for cement. I am earning sufficient profit after investing in cement sector, as lots of the construction activities are taking place in the country,” he said.

The APTMA representative also said that the government had not fulfilled promises it made to the sector last month. The government had met only two of the demands out of the total eight. It imposed 10 percent regulatory duty on imports of cotton yarn, grey and processed fabric. The interest rate on the Export Refinancing Facility was cut by 1pc to 3.5pc and interest rate of the Long Term Finance Facility from 6pc to 5pc. However, the government had not resolved the issues of electricity prices, tax refunds and zero rating of sales tax.

All major textile goods export showed decline including raw cotton (down by 52.92pc), cotton yarn (28.78pc), cotton cloth (1.79pc), cotton carded (99.27pc), yarn (39.11pc), knitwear (9.5pc), bed wear (8.9pc), towels (18.14pc), tents (14.21pc), readymade garments (0.36pc) and art, silk and synthetic textile (21.9 pc), during the month of October over a year ago.

Meanwhile, according to the PBS figures, Pakistan’s textile exports had come down to $4.3 billion during first four months (July-October) of the ongoing financial year 2015-2016 from $4.6 billion of the corresponding period of the previous year.