Pakistan’s exports decline 6.8% YoY in June

According to the ministry, the single-digit drop in June manifested a definite improvement in the country’s export trend.

Port of Karachi (Wikipedia)

The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has declared that the country’s exports in June 2020 witnessed a decline of 6.83%, terming it a “sign of recovery after the historic fall of 54% in April”.

According to the ministry, the single-digit drop in June manifested a definite improvement in the country’s export trend, particularly after a fall by 8%, 54%, and 33% in March, April, and May, respectively.

“Pakistan’s exports are showing direct signs of recovery due to the efforts of the exporters to diversify their products in the wake of the coronavirus, and due to the support extended by the government in this regard as well,” said Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce & Investment Abdul Razak Dawood. He commented on this while chairing a meeting to talk about the export strategy of Pakistan on Thursday.

It was learned that before the outbreak of the coronavirus near the end of February 2020, Pakistan’s exports were on an upward trajectory, indicating an increase of 14% YoY in dollar terms. The February momentum continued despite the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country, as exports in the first 10 days of March 2020 showed an increase of 13% as compared to last year.

Following the mid of March, Pakistan’s export-oriented industry suffered the impact of lockdowns as well as the global economic slowdown. This led to an 8% decline in March exports as compared to the same month of last year.

The situation continued, and, in April 2020, the exports showed a downward trend of 54% as compared to April 2019, they added.

Following April and with the efforts of the government to encourage the export sector, the first signs of recovery were observed in May 2020, which saw a 33% decline in exports as compared to the same month last year. The momentum resumed in June 2020, as the downward trend was brought down to a meager of 6.8%.

Along with a positive trend in exports, the figures also specified that the ministry’s strategies for geographical and product diversification were sprouting. For example, there was a significant improvement in the exports to Africa, which was an outcome of ‘Look Africa Policy,’ as well as the Middle East.

Similarly, the export of meat products has also shown decent growth, while tobacco depicted a reassuring future.

In the textile sector, value-added products indicated an improvement, while concurrently, the export of cotton yarn and fabric went downwards. As a result of the net progress, the trade balance has improved by $8.7 billion, suggesting that the current account deficit was also at reasonable levels.

Discussing the trends of exports, Dawood stressed that the export sector was given a new impetus from the authorities by allowing the export of Personal Protective Equipment, apart from three items, which was indicated by the boost of exports in June.

He added that other governmental policies for diversification of exports and international markets would also enable the exporters to pursue the thrust in the current fiscal year.

The advisor observed that the traditional exports of Pakistan, like garments and bedwear, were picking up too and would show improved performance in the financial year 2020-21.

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