Pakistan’s exports during the FY2019-20 declined by 6.8 percent to $21.4 billion compared to $22.97bn during the same period last fiscal year, data released by the Ministry of Commerce showed on Friday.
However, detailed numbers released by a local newspaper showed the exports in the month of June also fell by 6.38pc to $1.609bn, from $1.717bn during the same month last year.
Exports have declined for the fourth consecutive month in row since the pandemic gripped the global economy. However, declines in June were at a much slower pace compared to those in April and May. This may be indicative of a revival in exports.
“Pakistan’s exports are showing clear signs of recovery, due to the efforts of the exporters to diversify the products, in the wake of new opportunities arising amid Covid-19 pandemic,” said Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood.
Before the outbreak of the pandemic near the end of February, Pakistan’s exports were on an upward trajectory and it showed an increase of 14pc in dollar value terms, as compared to the same month last year.
This momentum for February continued despite the initial outbreak of Covid-19 in the country, as the first 10 days of March registered an increase of 13pc as compared to last year.
However, the momentum was brought to an abrupt end after international buyers either delayed their shipments or cancelled their orders outright.
On the flipside, imports during the month of June declined by a massive 16.5pc to $3.643bn, compared to $4.36bn during the same month last year. The cumulative imports during the FY2019-20 clocked in at $44.5bn compared to $54.8bn last year.
The sharp reduction in import bill, despite a fall in export proceeds, also helped narrow down the country’s full-year trade deficit. The deficit in FY2019-20 shrank by 27.41pc to $23.1bn, compared to $31.28bn in the same period of previous fiscal year.