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Overview of Pakistan Textile Industry

Textiles is the most important industry in Pakistan. It accounts for approximately 40 percent of manufacturing employment, over 60 percent of total exports, and over 30 percent of value-added production. Pakistan's textile industry, based on locally-grown cotton, produces cotton yarn, cotton cloth, and made-up textiles and apparel. Its small woollen industry uses mostly imported fibers to manufacture woollen yarn, acrylic yarn, fabrics, shawls blankets and carpets. The polyester fiber and yarn industry has also grown significantly in recent years, and meets over 80 percent of country requirements, but viscose and acrylic fibers are imported. The artificial silk and synthetic weaving industry remains largely in the unorganized sector. In Pakistan Fiscal Year (PFY) 1998 (Pakistan Fiscal Year starts July 1 and ends June 30), Pakistan had a total of 503 spinning mills with an installed capacity of 8,332,000 spindles and 145,000 rotors. The weaving industry has 53 integrated units (composite units with spinning and weaving in one unit) with an installed capacity of 14,130 looms; 512 shuttleless weaving units with an installed capacity of 13,340 1ooms; and approximately 30,000 units in the power loom (shuttle loom) sector, with an estimated 225,253 looms. In PFY-97 it additionally had 670 finishing units with a production capacity of 3,460 million sq. meters of fabric per annum, 700 knitwear units with 15,000 knitting machines, and 4,000 garment units with 160,000 industrial and 450,000 domestic sewing machines. 

Pakistan's textile industry is based on domestically-grown cotton. Imports meet the shortfall of domestically-grown medium staple cotton and the requirements for long staple and extra-long staple cotton. Exports of all textiles in PFY-97 totalled a value of USD 5.4 billion. The major buyer of textile clothing and accessories was the United States, which purchased USD 309.2 million of goods. 

Pakistan's spinning and weaving industry is in a crisis, largely owing to higher prices for domestically-produced cotton, financial mismanagement and the subsequent difficulty in obtaining loans for new, technically-advanced machinery. Loans from financial institutions are unavailable to the spinning industry, and several weaving units are working under contract for lack of working capital. The East Asian crisis and rising electricity charges have further exacerbated the situation.

Pakistan also has 12 jute mills with an installed capacity of 37,876 spindles and 1,946 looms. The industry produced 68,600 tons of jute products in 1998-99. 

Knitwear has been Pakistan's largest single segment of garment exports, but finished goods have generally lagged yarn and cloth production. The GOP has proposed a series of measures to upgrade the garment sector, including modernization of facilities, and market research and sales promotion. Ready-made garment exports in 1997-98 totaled $671 million. 

Source: US Department of State and US Foreign Commercial Service 

Statistics of Pakistan Textile Industry

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