Pakistan’s August textile exports rose nine per cent year-on-year. Similarly, July textile exports picked up 16 per cent as compared to July 2016. So far for the second quarter of financial year ’18 there has seen a six per cent increase as compared to the corresponding period in previous year.
There was a boost in the value-added segments including readymade garments, knitwear, towels and bed wear. The highest growth was witnessed in knitwear at 21 per cent whereas bed wear and towels grew by 15 per cent and 12 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
However, yarn exports were down by 13 per cent, while cotton cloth exports dipped by eight per cent year-on-year. Falling cotton prices as well as slowing demand in neighboring China have resulted in lower volume as well as value growth.
There are a host of challenges confronting the textile sector. The cost of inputs used in higher value added segments such as readymade garments and knitwear is high. The rising cost of doing business has clawed away at Pakistan’s global cost competitiveness. An overvalued currency has aggravated matters further. When compared with regional competitors such as Bangladesh, Vietnam, India and China, the country’s electricity and gas tariffs are almost 30 per cent higher.