ISLAMABAD      -          Pakistan’s textile exports have recorded growth of 3.94 percent in first six months (July to December) of the ongoing financial year (FY20) mainly due to cash support to various sectors and currency depreciation.

According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the country has exported textile commodities worth $6.91 billion in July-December period of FY20 as compared to $6.64 billion in same period of last year.

Growth in textile sector exports has helped in increasing the overall exports of the country, which have increased by 3.14 percent to $11.53 billion in the period under review. Exports are increasing due to currency depreciation and government’s cash incentive packages to the various sectors.

In the value-added sector, exports of knitwear were up by 7.59 percent followed by 3.16 percent in bed wear.

Exports of ready-made garments rose by 12.08 percent while proceeds from towel only inched by a modest 0.22 percent. The data showed that exports of cotton cloth had recorded a decline of 3.7 percent. Exports of tents, canvas and tarpaulin witnessed decrease of 19.68 percent.

Meanwhile, exports of made-up articles (excluding towels and bedwear had declined by 5.97 percent.

The fresh PBS data showed that exports of non-textile products have also shown growth during July-December in FY20. In non-textile products, exports of leather products have enhanced by 11.06 percent during July to December period in FY20.

This was mainly led by sales of leather garment, leather gloves, followed by other leather products.

Footwear exports went up by 17.75 percent on back of leather footwear and others, surgical goods and medical instruments by 9.56 percent.

Meanwhile, engineering goods increased by 3.57 percent during the year under review.

Food exports have also recorded increase of 10.26 percent during July to December period of the current fiscal year. In the food basket, exports of rice witnessed a robust rise of 26.3 percent in the six months of current fiscal year from a year ago.

The growth was witnessed in both basmati and non-basmati rice. However, exports of carpet and rug exports increased by 1.16 percent during the first six months of current fiscal year from a year ago.

The slight increase shows that depreciation of rupee has helped Pakistani exporters to get market access and compete with Chinese and Indian exporters. On the other hand, the country’s imports in the first six months of current fiscal year clocked in at $23.23 billion, down by 16.9 percent from $27.95 billion over the corresponding period last year.

Pakistan’s oil imports have reduced by over 19.87 percent in July to December of the current fiscal year. The country’s had spent $6.14 billion on importing oil in six months of the year 2019-2020 as compared to $7.67 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year.

The PBS data showed that the import of petroleum products had shown decline of 24.13 percent to $2.59 billion. Similarly, import of petroleum crude had reduced by around 27 percent to $1.77 billion.

Meanwhile, imports of natural gas liquefied had cost $1.63 billion and imports of petroleum gas liquefied recorded at $153 million.

All the groups including food group, petroleum good, consumer durables and raw materials have witnessed hefty decline in imports during the July-December period of 2019-20 over the same period last year.

Food imports had contracted 13.48 percent to $2.57 billion during July-December period of 2019-20, from $2.97 billion in corresponding months last year. Similarly, imports of transport group had posted a 44.45 percent decline, with decrease in imported value of almost all subcategories.

On the other hand, agriculture imports inched down by 16.54 percent to $3.83 billion in July-December period of the current fiscal year from $4.59 billion in the same period of last year.