A steep decline in textile exports in April, both in terms of value and quantity, is alarming and the slide could continue unless energy shortages and other industry issues are tackled, say textile manufacturers.
“Textile exporters have been forewarning about the looming crisis, but no steps have been taken to tackle this,” said a statement quoting Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) Chairman Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood and Vice Chairman Adil Tahir.
Achieving the desired 100% increase in exports appeared to be a Herculean task in the wake of 14.6% drop in overseas sales in April over the previous month, they said.
Pakistan exported textile goods worth $1.054 billion in April against $1.235 billion in March, a decline of 14.6%. Exports were also lower by 6.08% compared to the same month of previous fiscal year.
The export of value-added textile goods also recorded a negative growth as garment shipments fell 13.11%, knitwear 5.55%, bed wear 13.61%, towels 18.39% and made-ups 20.94%.
Pointing to energy shortages, they said summer had started, but still only 33% of gas was being supplied to industries in Punjab. Similarly, power outages have repeatedly disrupted work at industrial units.
Referring to regional competitors – India, China and Bangladesh, the PTEA chairman said they were slowly entering Pakistan’s traditional markets, throwing its textile products out.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2014.
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