Textile exports fall 7.72pc to $10.4bln

Submitted by admin on 22 May 2016

Source: The News(International)

KARACHI: Pakistan's textile exports fell 7.72 percent to $10.395 billion in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, an official data showed, as lack of product diversity is bringing down the local industry's share in the international market.

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data showed that textile exports fetched $11.26 billion in the July-April period of the last fiscal year.

An official, associated with the world biggest retail chain Wal Mart, said the industry couldn't able to benefit from the European Union's generalised system of preferences (GSP) plus status to Pakistan.

The local industry failed to invest in its modernisation and diversification to explore new exports avenue.

A World Bank's report, issued in April, said product diversity and availability is a key concern facing the country's textile industry.

The country has specialty in basic cotton, woven, denim and chino trousers, low-priced knitwear, such as polo shirts and T-shirts, and fleece sweatshirts.

The report mentioned the limited availability of manmade fiber- (MMF) based products and barriers to MMF textile imports as some of the key concerns.

"One way to increase product diversity and move away from cotton-based apparel is to reduce barriers on imports to ease access to MMFs," it said. "They could attract global buyers and investors by adopting policies to reduce red-tape and increase transparency."

The bank said the country's exports are increasing at a higher rate than the world average, but Bangladesh enjoys the largest increase in global market share in south Asia region.

"Many buyers avoid Pakistan because of the security situation and hence entrepreneurs have to travel to Dubai to meet them, which complicates sourcing," the report said.

The report said Sri Lanka has outshined both India and Pakistan in EU's textile market, although the latter two, "are the big winners for U.S. market."

An analysis said the country's exporters are losing competitiveness in the international markets as the industry, accounting for nine percent to GDP and more than 60 percent of exports, is facing liquidity crunch.

"The Federal Board of Revenue delayed export refunds to the tune of Rs50 billion," said Taurus Securities Limited.

In April, textile exports increased 3.07 percent to $1.033 billion over March, but they decreased 3.48 percent over the same month a year ago.

The PBS data showed that exports of raw cotton, cotton yarn, cotton cloth, knitwear and bed wear fell 47 percent, 32 percent, 9.89 percent, 1.91 percent and 4.34 percent, respectively in July-April 2015/16.

Exports of readymade garments and towels rose 4.87 percent and 0.37 percent, respectively in the period under review.

Total exports declined 12.99 percent to $17.322 billion in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year.

Imports were marginally down on soft oil. The PBS data further showed that food imports increased 4.67 percent to $4.368 billion in July-April 2015/16. Machinery group's imports soared 16.13 percent to $7.091 billion. Imports of raw cotton, synthetic fibre, worn clothing and others surged 27 percent to $2.663 billion.

Imports of petroleum products, however, decreased 38 percent to $6.09 billion in the period under review. Soft oil prices somehow atoned for the rising import bill, which stood at $36.313 billion in July-April 2015/16, down 3.7 percent over the same period a year ago.