The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has reported a substantial increase of 35.33 per cent in the country’s exports in rupee terms during the first half of the current fiscal year, as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

According to provisional data released by PBS, exports from July to December 2023 amounted to Rs4,300,752 million, a significant rise from Rs3,177,893 million recorded during the same period last year.

On a year-on-year basis, exports for December 2023 witnessed a remarkable surge of 54.59 per cent, reaching Rs799,588 million, compared to Rs517,240 million in October 2022.

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Additionally, on a month-on-month basis, exports increased by 8.86 per cent when compared to the figure of Rs734,541 million reported in November 2023.

The key commodities contributing to this growth in December 2023 were rice other than basmati (Rs124,040 million), knitwear (Rs103,898 million), readymade garments (Rs84,569 million), bedwear (Rs64,119 million), cotton cloth (Rs40,678 million), cotton yarn (Rs26,984 million), towels (Rs24,814 million), rice basmati (Rs22,888 million), articles excluding towels and bedwear (Rs16,991 million), and meat and meat preparations (Rs12,472 million).

In contrast, imports during July–December 2023–24 amounted to Rs7,533,700 million, showing an increase of 8.20 per cent compared to Rs6,962,865 million during the corresponding period last year.

On a year-on-year basis, December 2023 imports totaled Rs1,317,463 million, reflecting a 13.94 per cent increase from December 2022. Moreover, on a month-on-month basis, imports increased by 1.66 per cent in December 2023 compared to Rs1,295,968 million in November 2023.

The main commodities of imports during December 2023 were petroleum crude (Rs158,260 million), petroleum products (Rs150,888 million), natural gas, liquified (Rs109,516 million), electric machinery & apparatus (Rs63,667 million), palm oil (Rs60,316 million), plastic materials (Rs52,218 million), mobile phones (Rs49,887 million), iron & steel (Rs41,654 million), iron and steel scrap (Rs30,426 million), and motor cars (Rs29,543 million).

This surge in exports, coupled with a measured rise in imports, signifies a positive trend in Pakistan’s trade balance, reflecting the resilience and competitiveness of the country’s export sector.