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TRADE

Mar 13 - 26, 2000

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

Textile exports up by 11.5pc

All the major export sectors registered a positive trend during the first eight months (July-February) of current financial year with the textile manufactures scoring a growth rate of 11.50 per cent, according to detailed foreign trade figures released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics here on Thursday.

Particularly heartening is the performance of the manufactured exports. Their share in total exports ($5.484 billion) at the end of the 8month period stood at 87.22%, compared to 87.41% during the corresponding period of last year. Only marginal though, the improvement is significant in view of the sluggishness of the manufacturing sector persisting for quite some time past.

Notably, the textile manufacturing sector seems to be coming into own, as indicated by the trade figures. In July-February (1999-2000), textile manufactures totalled $3.55 billion 64.72% of total exports. This shows 1.12% increase over the corresponding period of last year. However, underlying reason for the increase may be the pressure on exporters to sell their wares at any price.

This, however, points to a curious aspect: export of cotton yarn. According to official statistics, the country exported $678.34 million worth of cotton yarn, up in dollar terms by 13.09%. But the quantity of cotton yarn (321,524 tons) exported during this period increased by 21.41%.

Even otherwise, experts point out that export of cotton yarn is no big deal because it constitutes only 8% value addition which in fact is negative in view of the power, labour and transportation consumed to spin yarn from raw cotton.

As usual, cotton fabrics were the highest source of foreign exchange among textile manufactures. In value ($713.41 million) though, their exports went up by 1.61%, but quantitatively, these increased by as much as 23.40%. This shows a sharp drop in the unit price of cotton fabrics in spite of the economic boom in United States, a major market for our textiles.

Sugar price hiked

The price of sugar in the city has touched to Rs22 per kg, depending on locality, from Rs21 per kg in the last few days.

This is another burden on the consumers who are already reeling under the recently hiked prices of wheat varieties. The increase in sugar prices has further pushed up the kitchen budget.

Trade deficit rises to 29pc

The trade deficit of Pakistan increased to 29.66 per cent i.e. $1.10 billion during the first eight months (July-Feb) of fiscal 1999-2000 as compared to the corresponding period of the last year.

According to the aggregate figures for trade available from a Finance Ministry source here on Wednesday, the exports totalled $5,484 million in the period July-February of the current financial year, showing 9 per cent increase over the last year.

But the imports, which stood at $6,590 million, shot up by 12 per cent when compared to the import figures ($5,883.92 million) for the period July-February, 1998-99. Thus, the import bill increased by $706 million over the corresponding period of last financial year as against the exports which improved by $453 million.

As a result, the trade gap rose by $253 million or by 32.9% during July-February, 1999-2000, over the corresponding period of the last year. In terms of Pakistani rupee, the trade gap widened by 62%. In absolute terms, Pakistan faced a trade deficit of Rs 572.13 billion at the end of the 8-month period this year, as against Rs 360.26 billion for the period July-February (1998-99).

Govt may allow subsidy on kinno export to BD

The federal government may allow 25 per cent subsidy on the export of 10,000 metric tons of kinno to Bangladesh from Export Development Fund.

The subsidy is being considered for shipment made exclusively to the Bangladesh till April 30.

Official sources told on Monday that the commerce ministry has submitted its proposal to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet for a final decision.

Pakistan, Turkey to set up trading co

Pakistan and Turkey can explore the possibility of establishing a Joint Marketing Company to access the markets of Europe and Central Asia and at the same time boost the bilateral trade.

The suggestion was made by President of FPCCI Fazalur Rehman Dittu during a meeting with a 13-member Turkish delegation on Monday at Federation House.

The delegation comprised businessmen dealing in textiles, leather and leather products, marble, furniture and wookwork, automotive parts and constuction.

Saudi carrier launches direct run to Port Qasim

The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia is scheduled to commence a direct service to Qasim International Container Terminal at Port Qasim in Pakistan next month, writes A R Siddiqi, Karachi.

The service will help boost Pakistani exports to Saudi Arabia.

The first vessel of the company, the S Hofuf, will call at QICT in April. Announcing the new service, a QICT official described the event a great breakthrough and said that a ship of national shipping company of Saudi Arabia will call at Port Qasim as a regular service for the first time in the shipping history of the two countries.

This would greatly enhance import and export trade to and from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia and the US.

Japan port aid offer for Gwadar

Japan has offered to help Pakistan dust off its long-delayed ambitions for a deep-water port project in Gwadar but the Pakistan government must first agree to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty on nuclear testing, writes Matthew Flynn, Tokyo.

The Japanese offer was made by ambassador Minoru Kubota during comments to reporters at a ceremony to announce financial support worth $433,000 for grass-roots projects.

Japan halted official development assistance after Pakistan carried out nuclear tests in 1998.