Pakistan's apparel exports fell by 12% in value terms to US$3.61bn during the fiscal year to the end of June, compared with US$4.08bn the year before.

Exports of woven ready-made garments plunged by 8% to US$1.6bn and knitted garments were down by 14% to US$1.9bn. The shipments dropped 23% in volume terms, reflecting a slump in garment output.

Ejaz Khokhar, chief coordinator and former chairman of the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA), told just-style that garment production has declined by 35-40% during the past year, mainly due to acute shortages of electricity and gas.

He urged the government to provide a 5% relief in taxes and levies to help revive output and offset the country's soaring inflation and rising cost of doing business.

A spokesperson for the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), also told just-style that buying houses are shifting to other countries and garment makers have to travel to Singapore or Dubai to meet the buyers.

According to a study conducted by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), 67.5% of the country's textile firms face delays in orders, 70% have seen lower output, and the sector's overall loss from the breakdowns amounts to PKR819bn.

Energy accounts for around 35% of the operating cost in the textile industry. However, the sector is being supplied with gas for just five days a week and is also being hurt by power cuts that last 6 to 10 hours a day.