ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has exported textile products worth $19.33 billion during the fiscal year 2021/2022 making a record high on annual basis.
The country exported textile products worth $19.33 billion during fiscal year 2021/2022, showing an increase of 25.53 per cent when compared with $15.4 billion in the preceding fiscal year, according to data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Tuesday.
The textile exports contributed around 61 per cent to the total exports of $31.8 billion during the fiscal year 2021/2022.
Textile sector plays a significant role in supporting the economy of Pakistan and continue to be in the spotlight owing to country’s dependence on foreign exchange.
According to analysts at Insight Research, the Pakistani Rupee (PKR) devaluation against the US dollar gave textile exporters a competitive advantage over its competitors in terms of pricing.
In terms of value, the export of knitwear recorded an increase of 34.23 per cent to $5.12 billion during the fiscal year 2021/2022 as compared with $3.81 billion in the preceding fiscal year.
The export of readymade garments exhibited an increase of 28.75 per cent to $3.9 billion during fiscal year 2021/2022 when compared with $3.03 billion in the preceding fiscal year.
Similarly, the export of bed wear recorded an increase of 18.8 per cent to $3.29 billion in the fiscal year 2021/2022 as compared with $2.77 billion in the preceding fiscal year.
Meanwhile, foreign buyers purchased Pakistani cotton cloths worth $2.44 billion during the fiscal year under review as compared with $1.92 billion in the preceding fiscal year, showing an increase of 27 per cent.
The analysts said that some factors are posing threat to the textile industry for the current fiscal year such as i.e., increase in export refinance rate.
Moreover, cotton shortage remains the key concern for the country as the demand for textile industry grows but cotton production has declined substantially over the last decade, mainly due to fall in cultivation area followed by lower yield resulting from water shortage and inconsistent rainfall.
In the fiscal year 2021/2022, cotton production stood at 8.3 million bales, which is 2.2 million bales lower than the targeted production.
However, production has increased by 1.3 million bales compared to last year.
“Thus, due to the supply and demand gap, textile industry has to rely on imported cotton to meet the country’s demand, putting pressure on country’s import bill,” the analysts added.
The government was eyeing to fetch textile exports of $25 billion for the fiscal year 2022-2023. However, domestic and global challenges are dampening the outlook.
Possible increase in gas and electricity tariff amid the ongoing energy crises could hamper the local demand. In addition, global economic slowdown due to surging inflation will result in lower apparel demand.
Moreover, in case of surge in covid-19 cases and imposition of lockdown, textile industry’s operating rate would get effected negatively. Having these challenges in mind, the analysts believe that it would be tough to achieve such growth in textile exports.