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August 15, 1999

  1. International
  2. Finance
  3. Industry
  4. Policy
  5. Trade

Machinery import drops by 27.64pc

Export of textile manufactures fell by 2.90 per cent in July 1999 as compared to July 1998, while import of machinery dropped by 27.64 per cent.

Statistics Division figures on external trade issued here on Wednesday show that export of textile manufactures in July 1999 were valued at $393.936 million against $405.690 million in July last year. Simultaneously, the import of machinery has decreased to $125.503 million from $173.454 million.

In the comparable months, the export of cotton fabrics fell by 0.46% from $78.143 million to $77.921 million; ready made garments by 2.60% ($67.045 million) to $65.304 million; sports goods by 33.33% ($20.149 million to $3.433 million); leather manufactures by 43% ($28.292 million to $10.083 million); surgical and medical instruments by 39.26% ($8.395 million to $5.099 million); cutlery by 68.60 per cent ($1.121 million to 0.352 million); leather by 13.65% ($14.355 million to $12.396 million), and raw wool by 82% ($0.422 million to US$ 0.157 million).

The export of rice and fish/fish preparations, however, increased by 31.76% and 10.67% respectively. The rice consignments brought $27.417 million (last year $20.808 million, while the fish/fish products exports valued at $4.210 million (last year $3.804 million).

A good news for exporter this year is that the export of tulle, lace embroidery increased by 325% ($0.424 million to $1.407 million).

On the imports side, milk and cream import increased by 13.61% ($88.869 to $100.968 million); tea went down by 16.97% ($20.980 million to $17.420 million), soyabean oil increased by 16.20% ($7.918 million to $12.764 million); palm oil decreased by 28.95% ($39.292 million to 27.917 million); power generating machines by 48.78% ($17.633 million to $9.032 million); textile machinery by 27.02% ($14.876 million to 10.857 million); road motor vehicles by 44.11% ($ 26.844 million to 15.003 million); petroleum group (products, crude) increased by 52.82% ($102.406 million to $156.492 million); plastic materials dropped by 25% ($26.776 million to 20.002 million).

Vessels at KPT declines

The number of foreign flag vessels is progressively declining each day on the Karachi Port which could have a negative impact on the annual revenue of the Karachi Port Trust.

A glance at all the wharves including Karachi International Container Terminal and the Bulk Oil Piers (BOPs), will show that only four ships were lying, while other berths remained vacant on Wednesday.

France for long-term business ties

French Consulate will pursue a French company for manufacturing fibre glass fishing boats, with a longer useful life and lesser maintenance as compared to the conventional steel or wooden boats.

This was stated by French Commercial Counsellor Lucien Sergio while talking to president of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Javed Muslim here Wednesday.

The Commercial & Economic Counsellor of France Hubert Colaris was also present on the occasion.

Mr. Colaris said there were numerous opportunities for cooperation between France and Pakistan including agro-based industry, food stuff and canning, fishing, etc.

He said these should be explored for establishing long-term business relations and setting-up of joint venture projects.

Quality factor erodes apparel exports

Exports of readymade garment and fabrics from Pakistan to USA have declined sharply because the country is not in a position to compete in respect of cost and quality with Taiwan, Thailand, China, South Korea and Ukraine, an official source told. Apart from higher cost and complaints about quality, the delivery period of Pakistani goods has also been a snag from the buyers' point of view. Pakistani goods take a lot more time in shipment. The quota premium for different items also makes Pakistani stuff much less competitive.

A few countries like China, India, Taiwan and South Korea have set up their warehouse / distribution centres in USA. These houses import goods in bulk and then supply to the local firms in small quantities. This brings good prices and ensures confidence of the local buyers about quality.

Trade gap expands by 102pc

In the first month of current financial year, the trade gap has recorded an expansion of a massive 102% over what was in the same period last year.

According to the figures released on Monday by Statistics Division, exports in July '99 at $ 595m (last year $592m) were up 0.5% against the earnings in the same month last year.

On the other hand, imports at $797m (last year $692m) were 15.2% higher than what was recorded in July last year.

Against June '99, however, the exports were down in July by 20.1% while imports are less by 15.8%.

In rupee term, the exports at Rs30.68bn (last year Rs27.87bn) were up this year by 10.1%, while imports at Rs41.146bn (last year Rs32.43bn) were higher by 26.9%.

Export target this year is $ 9bn while import target is $ 9.8bn.

Tea imports

Tea trade between Pakistan and India has been affected due to Kargil conflict and local traders are reluctant to import tea from India.

Sources in Pakistan Tea Association (PTA) told that local traders feel that unless Kargil issue is resolved amicably chances to buy Indian tea are bleak in future.

They said Indian-tea exporters and Tea Board of India (TBI) have been inviting Pakistani importers and PTA members to visit India to boost trade but local traders are avoiding them.

Export refinance facility

Exporters availing themselves of the financing facility under.the Export Finance scheme have been advised that the State Bank has suspended the application of their instructions dated July 23, 1999, pertaining to exporters availing refinance under Part-II of the scheme during the financial year 1999-2000.

The direct exporters who were earlier obligated to procure their local inputs for export production from the indirect exporters against Standard Purchase Orders (SPO) and payment against Inland Letters of Credit (ILC) or against cheques issued by the financing banks against the export finance entitlement of the direct exporters, would now have the option of using the SPO and ILC system or avail the finance themselves, says an Export Promotion Bureau press release.