The (unsurprising) drop in textile exports.

Pakistan's textile exports have dropped to their 17-month low since May 2021, according to official trade data for October. The revenues of $1.36 billion fetched home by the textile and clothing exporters last month are down by 11 per cent compared with $1.53bn for September.

On a year-over-year basis, the fall has been even steeper, with the dollar value of the textile shipments from the country declining by 15.2pc from $1.60bn the same month last year.

This was long expected due to harsh international economic conditions such as historically high inflation and interest rates and soaring energy prices on the back of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The monthly foreign trade numbers evidently indicate that the country's textile exports are beginning to reflect the global slowdown in the textile and clothing demand in Europe, the UK and the US amid elevated price inflation, growing energy expenditure, surging credit costs, and so on in the West, especially Europe.

Though the four-month decline of 1.4pc to $5.94bn in textile exports between July and October from $6bn in the corresponding months last year isn't worrisome, the next few months can be very tough for exporters.

Comfort Knitwear chairman M. I. Khurram forecasts that the drop in textile shipments will continue this month, with November's monthly flow shrinking from $1.2bn to $1.3bn.

'The monthly textile exports will depress by an estimated 25pc-30pc in January on a year-over-year basis,' said the textile exporter with vertically integrated production, starting from yarn to knitwear.

The monthly foreign trade numbers are beginning to indicate the slowdown in demand in the US, UK and Europe

'The build-up of their inventories means that our buyers must stagger their import orders thin over a longer period,' Mr Khurram says.

'This means that the buyers are lifting their October shipments over a three-month period to December. The exporters' warehouses are stocked with the goods ready to be delivered and their factories across the value chain operating just at a fraction of their capacity.'

Fahad Rauf, head of research at Ismail Iqbal Securities, says the effect of the global economic slowdown and high inventory levels held with the retailers is becoming more visible. The fall in export value has mainly come from volumetric decline as prices of almost all categories have either increased or stayed flat, he adds.

Among the value-added items, the published data shows bedwear has witnessed...

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