Pakistan’s exports to China soar to $1.3 billion in recent months

ISLAMABAD: During the initial five months of July-November in the fiscal year 2023-24, Pakistan experienced a remarkable surge of 72.78% in exports to China compared with the corresponding period in the preceding financial year.

Gwadar Pro reported on Monday quoting Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP)’s latest statistics.

Pakistan’s export growth this fiscal year is primarily attributed to the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement and favorable prices in the Chinese market.

In July-November of the fiscal year 2023-24, Pakistan recorded $ 1307.89 million (1.31 billion) in exports to China, reflecting a significant increase of 72.78% compared to the $756.98 million exports registered during the same period in the fiscal year 2022-23.

Rice exports to China: During the first five months of FY 2023-24, Pakistan has exported rice worth $ 1.4 billion to different countries of the world including China.

According to the Pakistan Trade Perspective quarterly trade analysis (1st Quarter), for Pakistani rice, China, the Philippines, and Nigeria are primary buyers.

Pakistani rice like wholly milled and broken rice is becoming popular in the Chinese market. In 2022 Pakistan exported rice worth over $455 million to China. This year, Pakistani exporters are eyeing the Chinese market for a greater share.

Cotton Yarn & Refined Copper: In the initial five months of FY 2023-24, Pakistan experienced a significant uptick in exports, including a 49.77% increase in cotton yarn, reaching $480.01 million, and a 49.89% surge in refined copper exports, totaling $300.56 million compared to the same period in the previous financial year.

A major portion of these commodities was exported to China, owing to the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement and handsome prices in the Chinese market.

Sesame Seed Exports to China: Pakistan predominantly exports sesame seeds, comprising 99% of its total oil seed exports. In early December, the first 50 tons of sesame seeds cultivated through a program initiated by the Chinese company CMEC left for China.

Launched in early 2023, this innovative agricultural cooperation aims to expand to 30,000 acres with an anticipated export volume of 10,000 tons to China.

Out of total sesame exports, over 80% were exported to China. Pakistan’s sesame seed exports witnessed an upward trend during FY 2023 and FY 2024 owing to the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement and good prices in the Chinese market. Pakistan’s sesame seed exports to China surged to $148 million during the Q1 of FY 2023-24, showing a growth of 405.8% on a quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) basis.

In November sesame seed exports to China reached an unprecedented high of 64,711 tons valued at $ 113.66 million, a substantial increase from the 16,728 tons worth $25.57 million in the same month the previous year.

In the past, Pakistan sold most of its sesame to the Middle East before China opened its market for Pakistani sesame. The Chinese market offers a wide range of opportunities for Pakistani sesame exporters.

Meat Exports to China: Pakistan, a major global meat producer, primarily exports to six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, along with Vietnam, Afghanistan, Indonesia, and China. Meat and by-product exports from Pakistan surged over 25% to $ 427 million in the last fiscal year and increased by $ 20 million to $113 million in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2023-24. The Organic Meat Company Limited (TOMCL) has achieved a milestone by becoming the first Pakistani company to gain approval from the GACC (General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China) for exporting cooked/heat-treated frozen beef to China.

This approval opens up significant opportunities for Pakistan, given the high demand for such products in China.

Handmade carpet exports to China: Pakistan’s significant handmade carpet manufacturing sector stands to benefit from a boost in exports to China through their inclusion in the free trade agreement.

Initially facing challenges such as increased freight fares, rising tax duties, and customs clearance and warehouse expenses leading to a decline in exports, the recent incorporation of hand-knotted carpets into the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement offers a potential turnaround.

This inclusion grants duty-free access to China, presenting new opportunities for Pakistani carpet exporters.

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