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Exports slump in May for 2nd consecutive month

Exports slump in May for 2nd consecutive month

ISLAMABAD: The country’s exports witnessed a marginal decline in May 2014 from a year ago, despite having preferential access to European market.

The export proceeds fell to $2.117 billion in the month under review as compared to $2.143bn in the same month last year, reflecting a decline of 1.21 per cent, showed Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data.

This is the second consecutive month in which exports witnessed a negative growth. In April 2014, the exports volume dropped by over 20pc from a year ago.

In rupee terms, the exports also declined by 0.99 percent in May 2014, suggesting that appreciation of rupee may be one of the reasons for decline.

The Ministry of Commerce has estimated that exports would pick up in the months ahead because of duty exemptions following GSP+ scheme.

According to the Federal Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi, the decline in export was the outcome of extensive power loadshedding and no gas for industries, especially in Punjab, resulting in closure of units.

Besides, the rupee’s appreciation also impacted export proceeds. The minister admitted that because of energy shortages the country may not be able to reap the benefits of GSP+.

Export grew 3.71pc to $23.112bn in July-May period this year from $22.286bn in the corresponding period last year.

In terms of rupee, export proceeds witnessed growth of 10.90pc in first 11 months of the outgoing fiscal year over the corresponding months of last year.

Imports also witnessed a sharp decline of 15.44pc to $3.675bn in May 2014 from $4.346bn in the corresponding month of last year.

In 11 months (July-May), the imports witnessed a paltry decline of 0.57pc to $40.7bn as against $41.011bn over the corresponding period of last year.

As a result, Pakistan’s trade deficit narrowed down by over 5.66pc in the first 11 months of this fiscal year from a year ago owing to a growth in exports and stagnation in imports.

In absolute terms, the trade deficit fell to $17.665bn in July-May 2013-14 from $18.725bn over the corresponding period last fiscal year.