Textile Exports continue upward trend despite the Covid 19
pandemic and global slowdown

Pakistan’s exports of textile and clothing posted a growth of 30.4 per cent to $1.355 billion from $1.039bn in March 2020. It is important to note that March 2020 was the first month of a short countrywide lockdown.  The export markets of Pakistan also closed down during the period.  Due to prudent policies of the government, the lockdown was not prolonged and the economic activity resumed shortly with the full support of the government.

The industry received short term financing to offset the adverse effects of the pandemic and lost business, primarily with the object of keeping the economic cycle going and to keep the labour employed. While the neighbouring countries of India and Bangladesh suffered badly due to lost orders and recession, Pakistan’s exports continued to grow every month.

The July 2020 - March 2021 figures show that growth in textile and clothing exports came from the value-added sector. The value of exports reached $11.35bn in the July-March period this year as against $10.41bn over the corresponding months of last year, showing a growth of 9.06 per cent.

The ready-made garments increased by 22.9% in value, followed by knitwear 49.64%, bedwear 43.71% and towels 20.95% during the month under review. Pakistan and China’s exports of apparel exports posted a substantial growth to the United States compared to regional countries during the past few months.

The government has already abolished duty and taxes on industrial raw materials as well as paying off past pending refunds to exporters. The devaluation of the rupee and lower interest rate accelerated industrial growth, especially in the export-oriented industries.

According to the PBS data, the export of cotton yarn posted growth of 39% in March from a year ago, followed by cotton cloth 8.7%, and cotton carded 100%. The export of yarn other than cotton yarn also recorded a growth of 56.87% during the month under review. In the non-value-added sectors, exports of tents, canvas dipped 34.09% followed by raw cotton by 100%. However, the export of art and silk increased by 32.72%, made-up articles excluding towels, bedwear 12.48% and other textile products 41.03% during the month under review.

The overall exports in March up by 30.62% to $2.36% in March 2021 against $1.81bn over the corresponding month last year. Between July and March, the overall exports reached $18.68bn against $17.44bn over the corresponding months of last year, indicating a growth of 7.13%.

In the nine months of this fiscal year, the import of textile machinery posts a paltry growth of 7.72%. This indicates that the industry has started importing textile machinery as part of modernisation or expansion in the sector.


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