China Tops as Pakistan Trade Partner Despite US-EU Export Dip

Karachi, the data disclosed by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) on Monday illuminates a descent in Pakistan's exports to the affluent European and North American markets during the initial half of the 2023/24 fiscal year. In a peculiar turn of events, China steadfastly maintained its paramount position as the principal trading ally, surpassing other contenders.

The exports directed towards the United States, historically one of Pakistan's prominent markets, failed to secure a position within the top 25 destinations during the six months ending in December. This revelation, according to the TDAP's scrutiny of external trade, unveils an unconventional trajectory in market dynamics.

The review underscores the Chinese market's perpetual dominance, marking it as the foremost destination for Pakistani exports, witnessing a remarkable surge of 66 percent in goods importation from Pakistan during July-December of this fiscal year.

In a contrasting narrative, exports to the United Kingdom (UK) witnessed a commendable growth of six percent in the inaugural six months. Nevertheless, the exports to numerous European Union (EU) countries encountered negative growth trends during this period.

The comprehensive review discloses a decline of fourteen percent in exports to Germany, a substantial 14.5 percent drop in exports to the Netherlands, and negative growth of 5.3 percent in exports to Italy. Exports to Spain experienced a downturn of 1.2 percent.

The French and Belgian markets demonstrated negative growth of 7 percent and 9.5 percent, respectively, while exports to Denmark experienced an upward trajectory, registering an increase of nine percent during the scrutiny period.

The exports to the Middle East market presented a mixed scenario, characterized by substantial growth of 27 percent in exports to Saudi Arabia. Conversely, a decline of over five percent was noted in exports to the United Arab Emirates.

In the South Asian region, Pakistan's exports to Afghanistan witnessed a decline of over five percent and a downturn of over three percent to Bangladesh. However, exports to Sri Lanka exhibited growth of two percent.

In the Far East market, exports to Japan saw a dip of over ten percent, while experiencing a remarkable upswing of fifty-six percent to the Philippines. Noteworthy growth rates were recorded in exports to Indonesia (190 percent), Malaysia (100 percent), and Vietnam (79 percent).

Within the African market, exports to Tanzania demonstrated a notable increase of 47 percent, counterbalanced by a decrease of 4.5 percent in exports to Kenya during the initial half of this financial year.

Amidst these diverse market performances, the total exports of the country showcased a growth of 5.17 percent, amounting to $14.981 billion in the first half of the fiscal year, as compared to $14.244 billion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year.

The major commodities contributing to this export landscape included textile & leather (down by six percent), agro & food (up by 39 percent), minerals & petroleum (up by 9.5 percent), metals, gems & other precious metals (up by 33 percent), and chemical, fertilizer & pharma (down by 18.8 percent) during the initial half of this financial year.