. .



 1. INTERNATIONAL   2. INDUSTRY
 3. FINANCE  4. POLICY
 5. TRADE  6. GULF

A

TRADE

May 13 -19, 2002

TEXTILE EXPORTS UP IN 10 MONTHS

Exports of textile manufactures increased by a marginal 0.57 per cent in terms of dollars during the period July-April (2001-02) over the corresponding period previous year, according to foreign trade data released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) on Thursday.

In Pakistani currency, the exports figure showed a rise of 7.84 per cent, thanks to the depreciation of rupee below the Rs60 level.

The increase was not, however, reflected in overall performance of exports sector. Totalling $7.32 billion, the exports dropped by 1.78 per cent in dollars. In rupees, however, these showed 5.21 per cent increase.

A significant headway was discernible in the exports of value- added textile products. These included bedwear, towels, tents etc., readymade garments, madeup articles and cotton cloth. Their exports surged, respectively, by 24.53%, 10.85%, 7.05%, 6.41% and 3.92%.

Nevertheless, quantitatively the exports of some of these commodities were even more impressive 25.79% (bedwear), 16.75% (towels), 22.74% (readymade garments) and 12.19% (cotton cloth).

The only items that stand for significant increase in its unit value was tents, canvas and tarpaulin. While in quantity its export showed an increase of 6.89%, the value it fetched in dollars was 7.05% higher than in the same period of 2000-01.

Prominent among the textile products that showed a negative trend was cotton yarn. The amount of cotton yarn exported during the period under review was 439,073 tons, down 0.42% from previous year. In terms of value, it slipped by 12.03%, denoting a drastic drop in its unit price.

EXPORTS TO US FALL SLIGHTLY IN JULY-FEB

Pakistan has seen a slight fall in its exports to the US in the first eight months of this fiscal year and business leaders fear further fall in the remaining part of the fiscal year. But they are sure the exports to the US will not miss the historical $2 billion mark.

Export Promotion Bureau statistics show that exports to the US fell to $1.424 billion in July-February 2001-02 down $46 million from $1.470 billion in July-February 2000-01. For many this fall is lesser than what they were anticipating in the wake of September 11 terror attacks on the US. Foreign buyers including those from the US have temporarily suspended imports from Pakistan after September 11, 2001 incident and the US-led war against Afghanistan.

The US customs authorities have also tightened screening of Pakistani exports at the US ports. But, as the statistics suggest, all this had no big impact on Pakistan's exports to the US in the first eight months of this fiscal year.

TRADE DEFICIT NARROWS

Trade deficit during the first 10 months of current financial year slid to $921.31 million, that is, $481.53 million less than during the corresponding period of previous year.

According to the preliminary figures available from the Federal Bureau of Statistics Monday, the 34.33 per cent drop in deficit was despite 1.78 per cent decrease in exports. But then the imports too plummeted sharply by 6.93 per cent, hence the substantial improvement in balance of trade.

The value of merchandise exports scored by Pakistan during the period July-April (2001-02) totalled $7.32 billion, while the imports stood at $8.24 billion.

PAKISTAN MAY BUY 100,000 TONS PALM OIL

Malaysian palm oil futures firmed at the close on Thursday, helped by technical buying and strong gains on the physical market, traders said.

The benchmark third-month July futures closed 15 ringgit higher at 1,237 ringgit ($325.53) a ton after trading as high as 1,249 ringgit, just below key resistance of 1,253 ringgit. Volume was very heavy at 3,245 lots, up from Wednesday's 1,995 lots.

In Pakistan, traders said the country could buy more than 100,000 tons of palm oil in May, up from the monthly 80,000 tons in order to replenish the dwindling stocks.

POOR QUALITY JEOPARDIZES EXPORTS TO OMAN

Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) President Abdullah Rowas has blamed a few of the Pakistani businessmen for supplying poor quality rice, shoes and some other items to Omani importers, who are now reluctant to place fresh orders with Pakistani exporters.

LAND ROUTE EXPORT ALLOWED

The Central Board of Revenue has further amended the Customs Rules 2001, allowing exports to all countries, including Afghanistan and through Afghanistan to Central Asian Republics (CARs) by land route.

A notification in this respect was issued on Thursday, which will be effective from March 7, 2002.

RS59.17BN PAID TO EXPORTERS

The Central Board of Revenue has paid Rs59.17 billion refund/rebate to exporters during the July- April period of the current financial year against Rs42.6 billion it paid during the same period last year, showing an increase of 38.89 per cent.

And the tax authorities paid Rs4.8 billion to exporters during April this year against Rs5 billion it paid during the same month last year, showing a decrease of four per cent.

DUTY EXEMPTIONS, RD TO GO

The government has decided to do away with all time-bound exemptions and regulatory import duties without further extension. Official sources told that around five customs time bound notifications to be deleted in the budget 2002.

HIGH COUNT YARN

Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood hinted on Friday that the government would allow import of high count yarn at lower duty rates to facilitate value-added textile industry to produce high quality products.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association, at PHMA House, the minister said import of good quality and high count yarn will help the garment and other ancillary industry to produce fancy and special made-ups.