Pakistan’s textile and clothing exports have declined for the third consecutive month due to rising production costs and a liquidity crunch, as reported by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The export value of textile and clothing exports in the first quarter of fiscal year 2024 (July-September) fell by 9.95 percent, dropping to $4.12 billion from $4.58 billion in the same period the previous year.
In September, the textile and clothing exports contracted by 10.88pc, reaching $1.36 billion compared to $1.52 billion in the same month in the previous year. Caretaker Commerce Minister Gohar Ejaz had previously announced measures to address issues such as providing competitive energy prices to textile exporters and resolving cash flow problems through pending sales tax refunds, although these initiatives have not been implemented yet.
The textile and clothing exports contracted by 14.63pc to $16.50 billion in the previous fiscal year (FY23). However, total merchandise exports also declined by 12.71pc to $27.54 billion from $31.78 billion in the preceding year.
Data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics indicates that exports of readymade garments decreased in value during July-September but increased in quantity. Similarly, knitwear exports dipped in value but grew in quantity. Bedwear exhibited negative growth in value but grew slightly in quantity, while towel exports increased in value and quantity. Cotton cloth exports, on the other hand, declined in both value and quantity.
Additionally, Pakistan experienced an increase in the export of raw cotton and yarn. However, made-up articles, art, silk, and synthetic textiles, as well as tents, canvas, and tarpaulin exports, witnessed declines in value.
The import of textile machinery significantly decreased by 75.38pc in July-September, indicating a lack of priority for expansion or modernization projects. Moreover, the import of raw cotton also saw a substantial decline of 68.73pc in the same period.
On the import front, synthetic fiber imports increased by 21.41pc, while synthetic silk yarn and worn clothing imports rose significantly. However, the overall exports in the first quarter of FY24 decreased by 3.63pc to $6.91 billion.