Pakistan’s tenuous textile market sprang back into life last month, recording a 13% growth compared to exports in March of last year. After February’s 4% drop in textile exports, the increase was especially welcome news. Last month’s exports totaled $1.167 billion–up from just over $1 billion in March 2012.
Significant rises in value-added products like knitwear, bed-wear, towels and ready-made garments (RMGs) drove March 2013’s growth; raw cotton and cotton carded exports fell, but not even to prevent the overall upswing.
Europe and U.S. markets have been in a slow, but tangible recovery since October 2012, and Pakistan’s export industry has seen a corresponding increase in orders. Pakistan’s overall exports grew to over $18 billion between July 2012 and March 2013, a growth of 7% compared to the same months last year.
An unnamed source in the commerce ministry told Pakistani-based Dawn.com that imports to the EU, buoyed by preferential trade access, were primarily responsible for the export surge. “Our exporters have received more orders than in normal circumstances because of preferential duties,” the official said.
The same source told Dawn that Pakistan also had an usually consistent supply of gas during the reviewed period–as Sourcing Journal reported last week, the country’s energy supply is in crisis mode, and the industry has been plagued by power shortages and suspensions of gas supplies.