By admin       2018-12-18

Textile exports remained flat at $5.506 billion during the first five months of the current fiscal year of 2018/19 as the value-added sector couldn’t perform up to the mark despite constant rupee devaluation against the US dollar. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data on Monday showed that knitwear was the only product in the textile sector that saw a double-digit growth in exports in the July-November period. Knitwear exports increased 10.58 percent to $1.214 billion in the first five months over the corresponding period a year earlier. Exports of readymade garments inched up 0.3 percent to $1.022 billion in the first five months of the current fiscal year. Bedwear exports were up around two percent to $966.007 million during the period under review. Ehsan Malik, chief executive officer of Pakistan Business Council said the flat growth might be attributed to the lagged impact of rupee devaluation. Rupee has lost a quarter of its value against the US dollar since December last year. The latest major spell of devaluation occurred in October when the local currency plunged as much as seven percent against dollar. “New season may see some recovery,” Malik said, referring to spring and summer sales in the western markets. In July-November, towel exports fell 2.24 percent to $314.576 million. Exports of made-up articles, however, rose around two percent to $285.100 million during the period under review. Raw cotton exports witnessed a significant drop of 73 percent to $13.773 million. Total exports, during the five months, amounted to $9.119 billion, up 1.29 percent year-on-year. In November, textile sector’s exports stood at $1.1 billion, down two percent year-on-year and falling three percent month-on-month. PBS data showed that food exports increased 1.27 percent to $1.514 billion in the first five months period. Rice exports decreased around six percent to $614.193 million despite a 24 percent jump in exports of flagship rice brand Basmati. Exports of leather goods, carpets and rugs remained almost flat at $1.422 billion in the July-November period. PBS data further showed that imports of petroleum, oil and lubricants soared around 18 percent to $6.534 billion during the period under review. All other major import groups saw decrease in import bills as the regulatory duties on non-essential merchandises teed off a slide in inbound shipments. In July-November, imports of machinery plunged around 18 percent to $3.729 billion with significant decreases of 53 percent and 29 percent witnessed in imports of power generation machinery and construction and mining machinery, respectively. Food imports slid 9.3 percent to $2.468 billion in the July-November period. Transport group’s imports fell 22 percent to $1.283 billion. Total imports, during the period, amounted to $23.632 billion, down one percent year-on-year.

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