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Oct 16 - 22, 2000

Manufactured goods export surges by 12.3%

Manufactured goods exports surged 12.30% contributing to an impressive 14.51% increase in overall exports during the first three months of the current financial year.

These accounted for 87.86% of the total exports figure which stood at $2.22bn during the period. However, in the period July-Sept, '99, their contribution to exports figure was higher 89.59%, an analysis of the foreign trade data for the month of Sept, 2000, shows. The contribution of textile manufactures ($1.41bn) to the overall manufactured exports in the last three months stood at 72.15% about four percentage points less than in the comparable period of last year.

The year has been marked by a tendency to export maximum cotton yarn. The export of this negative value-added item went up by 9.74% over the corresponding period of last year. The ratio of cotton yarn exports to the textile manufactures exports was 18.42% compared to 17.84% last year.

The price fetched by cotton yarn from the foreign markets, according to further analysis of figures, was $2003.4 per metric ton, as compared to $2199.0 per ton in July-Sept, '99.

Other major items with sizable share in exports and comparatively high value-addition, which registered a positive growth in the three-month period under review, were in dollars: knitwear (14.19%), towels (66.92%), readymade garments (15.22%), synthetic textile fabrics (23.29%) and other textile madeup (4.84%). However, quantitatively their growth was even higher. Among the other textile manufactures which showed negative trend in exports were cotton fabrics which have a substantial share in textile manufactured exports amounting to about $250m, that is, second only to cotton yarn. Their exports in the last three months dropped 11.49% in dollar terms, in spite of 3.49% rise in the quantity exported. This means that the decline was due to decrease in unit price.

'Exports show upward trend'

Exports in the current month recorded an increase of 13.5% compared to the corresponding period in the last financial year, said the minister of state and chairman Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Tariq Ikram on Wednesday.

"An 11% increase was recorded in exports in July as compared to the corresponding period of the last year whereas in the months of August and September the increase was up to 25% and 10%, compared to the last year," said Tariq while addressing at the inaugural ceremony of the 7th Pakistan Gems and Mineral Show.

Though so far exports show an upward trend, the figures are still behind the monthly target of $10 bn benchmark Islamabad has set for the 00-01 year, he added.

Trade deficit at $508m

Pakistan suffered a trade deficit of $508.66m in the first quarter of 00-01, crossing after a long time the half-billion dollar barrier and outstripping the already high deficit of corresponding period of last year by 4.51%.

According to the foreign trade data for the month of September, deficit in July-Sept, constituted 22.88% of total exports. This is slightly better than during the comparable period of '99, when the ratio of deficit to exports was over 25%.

The month of September, registered a startling increase of over 67% in trade deficit, as compared to September, '99. Within the month of September, the trade deficit stood at $185.83m.

However, when compared with August, the trade gap narrowed by 2.38%.

Further analysis of the deficit shows that in each month, the country has undergone on average a deficit of about $170m in the current year so far.

Import of diesel to be deregulated

Pakistan intends to free diesel imports from government control early next year. Sources in oil industries told that only imports of diesel is being deregulated in the first phase followed by price deregulation in the second phase. "The prices will remain in control of the ministry of petroleum and natural resources," the source said adding it is not known when the government will touch the price issue.

Diesel is the second petroleum product to be freed from the state control as the government had already deregulated furnace oil in July.

Cotton prices go up by Rs60

Cotton prices on Thursday rose further by Rs60.00 per maund followed strong mill demand triggered by some negative reports about the size of the new crop.

"The rumours about a short crop appear to be originating from some vested interests and may have no relevance to the objective conditions in the fields", said a leading floor broker.

Conflicting interest do circulate different rumours to create doubts in the minds of those associated with the cotton trade and in a way to push prices further higher, he said.

RSFs import allowed

The textile industry has been allowed to import ring spinning frames and has regularized all consignments of RSFs made from July 1, 2000.

The import of RSFs up to 516 spindles for cotton, synthetic fibres and their blends was earlier not allowed as it was produced by the Pakistan Machine Tool Factory. The PMTF had got it notified as a locally manufactured machinery item under the Customs General Order No 7 of '98, dated March 24, '98. The RSFs were, on Aug 3, 1998, de-notified as an LMM through CGO 14/98, but was later got re-inducted into the CGO 7/98, through an unknown order of the government.

Wheat export to yield $150m

Federal minister for agriculture and livestock, Shafqat Shah Jamote has said that Pakistan will earn $150 million from wheat exports this year.

Addressing the members of Overseas Investors Chamber of commerce and Industry (OICCI) here Tuesday, he pointed out that agriculture sector has witnessed a growth of 5 percent and hoped that this momentum will be maintained.

He said this sector contributes 80 % of the exports directly or indirectly.