On Saturday, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) announced that the textile industry has experienced a decline in both monetary value and quantity of sales for the seventh consecutive month. Additionally, the cumulative exports of the textile sector during the period of July to April in FY23 contracted by 14.2 percent, reaching $13.7 billion compared to $15.98 billion in the same period last year.

This decline in textile exports has significant economic implications as the textile industry is a major contributor to foreign exchange earnings and a significant provider of employment opportunities.

All major components of the textile sector, including cotton cloth, knitwear, bedwear, towels, and readymade garments, witnessed a decrease in exports. In April 2023, textile sector exports declined by 1.99 percent compared to the previous month, with exports totaling $1.258 billion. The decline in textile exports has been substantial since October 2022, with reductions of 15.23 percent, 18.15 percent, 16.47 percent, 14.8 percent, 29.9 percent, 22.6 percent, and 29.1 percent in November, December, January, February, March, and April, respectively, compared to the corresponding months of the previous year.

In April 2023, exports of cotton cloth decreased by 30.2 percent to $146.7 million compared to $210.1 million in April 2022. Similarly, knitwear exports declined by 34 percent to $321.76 million, bedwear fell by 21.7 percent to $218 million, readymade garments decreased by 29.45 percent to $247.4 million, towels declined by 26.5 percent to $79.6 million, and cotton yarn exports decreased by 34.7 percent to $63.75 million compared to the same month of the previous year.

Compared to the previous month, cotton cloth exports declined by 7.1 percent, readymade garments by 10.5 percent, and cotton yarn by 6.35 percent. However, knitwear exports increased by 3.3 percent, bedwear by 10.8 percent, and towels exports went up by 1.02 percent over March 2023.

It is worth noting that in FY22, the textile sector achieved a historic high in exports, reaching $19.35 billion, representing an increase of over 25 percent compared to the exports of $15.4 billion in FY21.

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