Textile exports down 16.47%, APTMA presses govt to clear cotton stuck at port

With the textile exports witnessing a 16.47 percent decline in December, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) warned the government of protest if the imported cotton containers at the Karachi port were not cleared.

According to the latest data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Thursday, the textile export were down to $1.35 billion compared to $1.62 billion in the same month last year.

On the other hand, the country’s overall exports too reduced for the fourth consecutive month, making it difficult for the government to achieve the target this fiscal year leading to more pressure on foreign exchange reserves.

APTMA Chairman Hameed Zaman told journalists in Lahore that the textile industry would fail to meet an export target of $25 billion in the current year on the non-availability of raw materials, mainly cotton, and added that the exports would be limited to $16-17 billion in the current fiscal year.

“The textile industry has so far ordered 1.7 million bales of cotton from the US, out of which 0.531 million cotton bales have been dispatched while 100,000 bales have already arrived at the Karachi port with a value of more than $300 million.”

He also warned that the seven million people associated with the industry would be unemployed soon if things were not controlled. “The industry was left with 60 days’ of raw materials only and if timely clearance of already arrived cotton will not start from the port, textiles will completely shut down.”

Coming back to the PBS data, the exports of readymade garments recorded a 7.92 percent negative growth in value but grew by 50.5 percent in quantity, while knitwear dipped 19.54 percent in value and but grew 24 percent in quantity.

Bedwear, on the other hand, posted declined 17.77 percent in value and 22.74 percent in quantity followed by the corresponding figures of 14.05 percent and 13.09 percent for towel exports, and 13.97 percent and 19.42 percent for cotton cloth.

Among primary commodities, cotton yarn exports declined by 60.71 percent while yarn other than cotton by 19.09 percent. The export of made-up articles — excluding towels — dipped by 49.92 percent, and tents, canvas and tarpaulin by 26.04 percent.

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