Pakistan’s trade deficit rises to $20.83 billion for current year

Pakistan’s exports of textile and clothing rebounded in March mainly due to value-added sectors and posted a growth of 30.4 per cent from a year ago, showed data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Friday.

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Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on Friday released data on external trade for the month of last month of March 2021. The data showed that value-added sectors posted a growth of 30.6 percent Year-on-Year, up from $1.81 billion.

The exports were $2.37 billion in March 2021, an increase of 14.36% MoM from $2.07 billion in February of 2021.

Exports during 9MFY21 the exports remained Rs3.02 trillion, up from Rs2.73 trillion during the same period of last fiscal year, showing an increase of 10.83%.

According to PBS, the percentage increase YoY compared to March 2020 was highest in Knitwear 47.35 percent. In March 2021, the value of knitwear exports was 48.97 billion.

Read More: APTMA warns any interference in free market mechanism will disrupt exports

Similarly, MoM, from February 2021, the highest increase in export was 69.89 percent for Basmati rice, with a value of Rs13.11 billion in March 2021.

The July-March figures showed that growth in textile and clothing exports came from the value-added sector. The value of exports reached $11.35 billion in the July-March period this year as against $10.41 billion over the corresponding months of last year, showing a growth of 9.06 percent, as mentioned by Dawn.

The federal government has already abolished duty on industrial raw materials as well. The devaluation of the rupee and lower interest rate led to industrial growth, especially in the export-oriented industries.

The data shows that Cotton yarn exports fell 6.63 percent MoM compared to February to Rs17.87 billion. However, YoY there was an increase in exports 36.87 percent, compared to March 2020.

It is worth mentioning that the ECC has recently abolished import duties on cotton yarn on Pakistan, pending the cabinet’s approval. According to the data, the exports fell 9.42 percent during 9MFY21 compared to the same period last fiscal year.


Imports into Pakistan in the month of March 2021 were $5.66 billion compared to $4.60 billion in February 2021, showing an increase of 23.02 percent, meanwhile, the month saw an increase of 71.1% compared to $3.31 billion in March 2020.

During to 9MFY21 imports equal $39,519 million compared to t $34,791 million during the same period last year, showing an increase of 17.41 percent.

The greatest increase in imports in March 2021, compared to the preceding month of February 2021, was seen in Iron and Steel, showing an increase of 66.98 percent, to a value of $244.7 million, from $146.5 million.

The greatest increase in imports was seen in Power Generating Machinery in March 2021 from March 2020, with an increase of 198.03 percent to $170.9 million from $57.36 million.

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the trade deficit in March was $3.30 billion, and the 9MFY21 trade deficit was $20.83 billion.

To bridge the shortfall in the domestic sector, the industry imported 624,945 tons of raw cotton during 9MFY21 compared to 338,244 tons of the same period last fiscal year, showing an increase of 84.76pc.

Read More: Large scale industry grows 7.45pc in February

Another positive news is from the textile sector, where the import of textile machinery grew 7.72 percent indicating technological upgradation of the industry, leading to greater downstream industry growth in the future.