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Covid keeps descending export of sports goods

Statistics identify that the exports of sports goods recorded a fall of 14.03 percent during the first 5-month of the ongoing fiscal 2020-21 as against to the exports of the same period of last year. Sources said that as the world of sports slowly reopens after a month-long hiatus, the Government of Pakistan otherwise is thriving sports industry which is struggling to recover from the hit it has taken from pandemic COVID-19 restrictions. Unluckily dozens of sprawling warehouses in the city of Sialkot are littered with millions of footballs, hockey sticks, cricket bats, tennis balls, and other games-related goods after hundreds of orders from Europe, South America, and the Far East were cancelled or delayed because of the worldwide pandemic lockdown.

Statistics of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics show that Pakistan exported sports goods value $108.300 million during July-November (2020-21) as compared to the exports of $125.978 million during July-November (2019-20), showing a fall of 14.03 percent. Among the sports products, the exports of footballs declined by 23.91 percent as it went down from $70.120 million previous year to $53.357 million during the present year. Moreover, the gloves exports also fell by 18.62 percent by going down from $34.474 million last year to $28.056 million during the present year. Likewise, the exports of all other sports goods products, however, witnessed a rise of 25.73 percent by growing from $21.384 million previous year to $26.887 million during the present year. Meanwhile, yearly basis, the sports exports fell by 12.95 percent in November 2020 when against to the export of the corresponding month of last year.

According to the experts, Pakistan’s sports industry has seen a 70 percent fall in new orders over the past 3-month. Almost 25 percent workers have lost their career opportunities during the lockdown period. The Government of Pakistan yearly earns $350-$500 million from footballs alone. The Government of Pakistan exports footballs, fitness items, boxing equipment, and other sports goods to Turkey.

Statistics also identify that the sport goods exports in November 2020 were registered at $21.230 million as compared to exports of $24.388 million in November 2019. During the period under review, the footballs and gloves exports fell by 16.96 and 27.85 percent respectively whereas the exports of all other sports products grew by 18.30 percent. Meanwhile, on monthly basis, the exports of sports however grew by 4.13 percent during November 2020, as against to the exports of $20.388 million in October 2020. On a monthly basis, the exports of footballs and other sports products grew by 2.15 percent and 26.51 percent respectively while the exports of gloves fell by 10.73 percent.

Pakistan’s merchandise exports grew by 2.21 percent during the first 5-month of the present fiscal year as against to the same period of last year. According to PBS statistics, the exports during July-November 2020-21 were also registered at $9.747 billion as compared to the exports of $9.536 billion in July-November (2019-20), showing the growth of 2.21 percent.

The imports during the period under review, however, grew by 1.63 percent by going up from $19.175 billion last year to $19.487 billion during the present fiscal year. Based on the statistics, there has been a slight raise of 1.05 percent in the trade deficit during the period under review as it was registered at $9.740 billion as against to the deficit of $9.639 billion during previous year. More recently, Sialkot-city in Pakistan has the highest income per capita. Statistics show that the per-capita income was recorded $2,800. Adjusting for rupee depreciation, it is about $2,200-2,400. No doubt, Sialkot’s success in the export sector has always been newsworthy. The city specialises in producing a vast variety of export goods such as leather products, surgical instruments and sports goods. Sialkot also held the chance to be one of the leading exporters of Brazuca footballs used in the FIFA World Cup in 2014, an unequalled moment of pride for the city. Some 10 percent of annual industrial exports from Pakistan are contributed through this city.

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