With escalating cost of doing business and weak demand in the international markets, textile exports in the first eight months of the current fiscal year has plunged nine percent to $8.363 billion hitting the Pakistanâ€™s major foreign exchange spinner, as per analysts.
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data, textile exports amounted to $9.166 billion in July-February of 2014/15.
Exports of raw cotton slumped 47 percent to $74.427 million in the July-Feb period of 2015/16 over the comparable period, while cotton yarn exports decreased 33 percent to $895.841 million.
While, cotton cloth fetched $1.486 billion in the period under review, depicting 11 percent decline over the comparable period.
Exports of knitwear and bed wear also dropped three percent and five percent to $1.576 billion and $1.338 billion, respectively in July-Feb 2015/16.
The bureauâ€™s figures further showed that textile exports also dropped equally five percent to $1.022 billion in February over January and the same month a year ago.
The countryâ€™s total exports decreased 13 percent to $13.868 billion in July-February 2015/16 over July-February 2014/15.
Shrinking cotton harvest and Chinese manufacturing slowdown along with European Union turmoil has (also) affected the exports. Furthermore, disproportional PKR/USD depreciation versus regional currencies also made textile products less competitive.
However, local supply-side factors coupled with international demand-side factors have taken a toll on textile exports, said Adnan Sami Sheikh at Taurus Securities Ltd.
Chairman Tariq Saud at All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma), in a statement, said that the export taxes and issues related to drawback on local taxes and levies are mutilating the competitiveness of the industry.
The Aptma urged the government to introduce, product-focus market schemes, export refinance for the value-added chain, clearance of pending refunds, availability of raw materials at the international competitive prices, free and regional trade agreements on comparative advantages and establishment of cotton research institutions under the public-private partnership.
Saud expressed doubt if the government would be able to achieve $35 billion exports target set in the recently-approved strategic trade policy 2015-18.
A leading exporter Jawed Bilwani said that the textile exports will further decrease as cost of doing business is increasing. Electricity and gas tariffs are on the rise and they are pushing up the cost of production.
However, the readymade garments got four percent surge in exports revenue to $1.437 billion in the eight months of the current fiscal year.
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