The value-added sector warns that the crisis is far from over, claiming that duty-free cotton yarn imports would not guarantee a continuous supply of key raw materials.
Customs duties on cotton yarn were recently waived, but imports from India were not authorised. This service will be available until June 2021.
“The government should be aware of the current state of the shipping lines. Since most ports are experiencing extreme congestion, any import or export of consignments takes two to three months,” said Pakistan Apparel Forum (PAF) Chairman Javed Bilwani.
Another exporter, Aamir Aziz, reported to Dawn that shipping lines have raised freight charges by five to six times and still take too long to ship the goods.
“If June is the deadline, it means we won’t be able to import cotton yarn because the shipping lines are already overburdened,” Mr Bilwani said.
In response to a query, they stated that the recent data showing export growth is the result of at least two months of output and shipment prior to shipment, and that the effect of the cotton yarn shortage will be felt in the coming months.