Low-income countries depend heavily on just few commodities for the bulk share of their export earnings while commodity price fluctuations directly affect the incidence of poverty as the vast majority of the poor depend on primary commodities for their livelihoods. The types of commodities exported by a country are another important determinant of a country’s vulnerability to exogenous economic shocks.
The majority of developing countries are dependent on primary commodities for export revenues and, of the 141 developing countries, 95 depend on primary commodities for at least 50 percent of their export earnings, analysts said.
In Pakistan, some sectors, after facing decline in exports in 2015-16, are now showing some positive indicators, as exports of jewellery and gems, bed wear etc, have shown positive trends in first two months of current fiscal year. The exports of jewellery and gems from Pakistan witnessed the increase of 62.33 and 7.75 percent respectively during the first two months (July and August) of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year. As per figures made available to PAGE, the overall jewellery exports during July-August (2016-17) were recorded at $1.711 million compared to the exports of $1.054 million in July-August (2015-16), showing surge of 62.33 percent.
On the other hand, the exports of gems increased from $0.626 million last fiscal year to $0.459 million during the current year. On year-on-year basis, the jewellery exports from the country increased by 78.20 percent in August 2016 when compared to the trade of August 2015. The exports of jewellery in August 2016 were recorded at $1.071 million compared to the exports of $0.601 million in August 2015. On the other hand, the gems exports increased from $0.178 million in August 2015 to $0.249 million in August 2016, showing an increase of 39.89 percent.
As per figures, on month-on-month basis, the exports of jewellery and gems increased by 67.34 percent and 18.57 percent respectively when compared to the exports of July 2016. The jewellery exports in July 2015 were recorded at $0.640 million whereas the exports of gems during the month were recorded at $0.210 million.
It is pertinent to mention here that the overall exports from the country during the first two months of the current fiscal year witnessed decline of 8.19 percent. The exports during July-August (2015-16) were recorded at $3.138 billion compared to the exports of $3.418 billion during the same period of last fiscal year. The imports into the country, however, increased by 10.32 percent by going up from $7.150 million last year to $7.888 million during the period under review.
Likewise, bed wear exports from the country during the first two-months of current financial year, registered an increase of 5.28 percent as compared the exports of the corresponding period of last financial year. During the period from July-August, 2016 about 58,365 metric tons of bed wear worth $355.799 million exported as compared to the exports of 52,151 metric tons with total cost of $337.955 million in same period of last financial year.
The exports of readymade garments during first two-months of current financial year also grew by 3.76 percent as compared to the exports of last year, according to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. During the period from July-August, 2016, about 5,109 thousand dozen readymade garments worth $364.072 million were exported as compared to the exports of 4,944 thousand dozen valuing $350.867 million of same period of last year.
Meanwhile, exports of tents, canvas and tarpaulin increased by 82.55 percent as 5,226 metric tons of the above mention commodities worth $16.807 million were exported as compared to the exports of 3,651 metric tons valuing $9.207 million of same period of last year.
Madeup particles exports also witnessed 11.83 percent increase as madeup articles valuing $102.44 million exported as it was recorded at $91.61 million in same period of last financial year. During the period under review, other textile material exports posted 9.35 percent and textile materials worth $69.288 million were exported as compared to the exports of $63.361 million of same period of last year.
It may be recalled that textile group exports reduced by 2.64 percent in first two months of current financial year and was recorded at $2.71 billion as compared to the exports of $2.127 billion of same period of last year.
The exports of raw cotton, cotton yarn and cotton cloth were decreased by 55.67 percent, 16.64 percent and 4.12 percent respectively.
However, exports of cotton carded or combed registered 537.04 percent increase in first two-months of current financial year.
Given the positive indicators coming on economic front, it is expected that the country’s exports would surge in the current fiscal. According to General Manager Out Reach SMEDA, Alamgir Chaudary, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) is preparing a strategy for promotion of surgical, leather and cutlery industries. The strategy would be finalized with an active consultation and suggestions of stakeholders. He added the SMEDA was holding meetings with surgical, leather and cutlery associations. The basic concept of the program was to find out ways and means of enhancing the export volume.