According to provisional data released on Monday by the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), Pakistan’s textile sector exports declined significantly by 28% in February 2023, totalling $1.2 billion compared to $1.67 billion in the same month of the previous year. APTMA also reported that textile exports in the first eight months of FY23 fell by 11% to $11.24 billion, down from $12.60 billion in 8MFY22.
The decline in Pakistan’s textile exports is a concern for the country’s economy, which is already grappling with dwindling foreign exchange reserves. Currently, its central bank has reserves of just $3.81 billion remaining, which is barely enough for a month of imports.
Industrialists in Pakistan are also worried about the ongoing slump in the textile sector, particularly after cotton arrival in the country fell by 34.5% year-on-year, according to data released by the Pakistan Cotton Ginner’s Association (PCGA) on Friday.
Last month, APTMA urged the federal government to ensure a level playing field by introducing a uniform gas price of $7 per MMBtu for the export industry nationwide. The association also warned that the government’s decision to suspend the regionally competitive energy tariff (RCET) of electricity for Export Oriented Units (EOUs) would harm the textile industry, particularly in Punjab.
In December, APTMA wrote a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, cautioning that the country’s textile exports could drop below $1 billion per month from 2023 onwards. The association highlighted a range of issues affecting the sector, which is currently operating at less than 50% capacity utilisation.
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