ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports to the Middle East dipped 5.57 per cent on a year-on-year basis to $951.78 million in the first five months of FY23 from $1.008bn mainly led by a substantial decline in exports to the United Arab Emirates.

The exports to the region saw a mixed trend with an increase to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, while a decline to other countries of the region, according to data compiled by the State Bank of Pakistan.

The UAE has emerged as the leading country for Pakistan’s export of goods as it saw a decline of 11.04pc to $614.88m in 5MFY23 from $691.23m over the corresponding months of last year. Nearly 65pc of the total exports to the region go alone to the UAE market.

Out of seven UAE states, the bulk of exports was destined for Dubai amounting to $557.79m during the five months this fiscal year against $570.53m in the corresponding months last year, showing a decline of 2.23pc.

Pakistan’s top export products to UAE include rice, bovine carcasses and half carcasses, men’s/boys’ cotton ensembles, guavas, mangoes, etc.

Likewise, Pakistan’s top sectoral exports to the UAE include cereals, articles of apparel and clothing and meat and edible offal etc.

The second biggest market for Pakistan’s exports in terms of value is Saudi Arabia. However, the exports witnessed an increase of 12.24pc to $184.01m in 5MFY23 from $163.93m in the preceding year.

Pakistan’s exports to Saudi Arabia have stagnated at around $500m in the last decade. It clearly shows that no substantial growth was seen in the market access as compared to the UAE.

Pakistan’s top exports to Saudi Arabia include rice (semi- or wholly milled), bovine carcasses and half carcasses, tents, textile materials, etc.

Pakistan’s exports to Qatar grew 10.57pc to $83.44m in 5MFY23 from $75.46m over the previous year, which includes rice, bovine carcasses, potatoes, onions, guavas, mangoes, etc.

In the sports sector, the export of footballs was up 11.74pc in July-November this year from a year ago. Pakistan is the official football supplier to the FIFA World Cup 2022 held in November in Doha, Qatar.

Pakistan’s export to Kuwait posted a negative growth of 9.23pc to $48.44m in 5MFY23 from $53.16m over the previous year. Top exports to Kuwait include bovine carcasses, seafood, tents, and rice, etc.

The top sectoral exports to Kuwait include meat and edible meat offal, followed by other made-up textiles.

The export to Bahrain posted a positive growth of 27.77pc to $31.01m in 5MFY23 from $24.27m over the previous year. Pakistan’s top export products to Bahrain include is rice, cotton yarn, bovine carcasses, textured yarn and printing ink, etc.

Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2022