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Pakistan's rice exports to China increased 133% in 2021

Pakistan’s rice exports up 76% to reach $1.6 billion

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In the first half of the fiscal year, Pakistan’s economic scenario underwent notable transformations, especially concerning exports. The textile industry encountered a significant hurdle, witnessing an almost 5 percent decline, amounting to a substantial reduction of $430 million. This downturn painted a challenging outlook for a pivotal sector in Pakistan, revealing potential vulnerabilities.

In contrast, the rice export segment emerged as a positive highlight, experiencing a remarkable increase of $710 million or 76.5 percent, reaching $1.638 billion. This surge was particularly evident in December 2023, with rice exports soaring by 190.5 percent to $518.64 million. Basmati rice exports, a crucial component of this growth, rose by 54.7 percent to $80.8 million in December. The ban on rice exports by India played a pivotal role in this surge, creating a favorable environment for Pakistan to capitalize on heightened demand and strengthen its foreign exchange earnings.

Despite the positive momentum in exports, the local market grappled with challenges as staple prices surged by over 100 percent. This inflationary pressure significantly impacted the budgets of millions of Pakistanis, leading to economic hardships on the domestic front. The dual narrative of export success and domestic challenges underscores the complexity of economic dynamics, with gains in one sector counterbalanced by challenges in another.

The textile sector did display signs of modest recovery in December 2023, with a 3.3 percent year-on-year increase totaling $1.4 billion. However, the month-on-month rise of 6.1 percent in textile exports from $1.318 billion in November 2023 indicates a gradual improvement.

Other sectors, including football, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cement, plastic materials, and engineering goods, exhibited mixed trends in exports during the same period, adding further nuance to Pakistan’s economic landscape. In summary, the interplay of export dynamics and domestic challenges showcases the intricate balance and diverse trajectories within Pakistan’s economic sectors during this period.

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