ISLAMABAD: Pakistan`s exports bounced back in September following a steep fall in the previous month, data released by the Ministry of Commerce showed on Friday.

The new fiscal year started on a posidve note as export proceeds grew 5.8 per cent in July but fell over 19pc in August. A steep fall was seen in exports since March when the government imposed lockdowns to contain the spread of coronavirus.

During the third month of FY21, export proceeds were reported at $1.872 billion, as against $1.769bn over the corresponding period of last year, showing a growth of 5.8pc.

In rupee terms, export proceeds increased 12.7pc year-onyear in September.

Between July and September, exports fell by 1pc to $5.457bn, from $5.513bn over the corresponding months of last year.

In FY20, exports fell by 6.83pc or $1.57bn to $21.4bn, compared to $22.97bn the previous year.Visible improvement was observed in export orders from international buyers, mainly in the textile and clothing sectors since May.

The government has also allowed exports of personal protection equipment including surgical masks. Pakistan is receivingorders from international markets with the return of coronavirus in the western countries.

Adviser to PM on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said that the export growth is better than the decrease of 15pc in August. `I still feel that with sufficient backlog of orderswe can do much better`, he remarked.

Besides executing current orders, he urged exporters to pursue more orders from existing markets and reach out to untapped markets. `I am hopeful that in October 2020 we will have further growth`, Dawood said.Meanwhile, imports posted a positive growth of 2.6pc in September to $3.884bn, as against $3.785bn over the corresponding month of last year. During 3MFY20, overall import bill dropped by 2.99pc to $10.882bn, down from $11.218bn over the corresponding months of last year.

The continuous decline in imports has provided some breathing space to help the government manage external account despite a downward trend in exports.

However, imports are now expected to bounce back in the coming months following abolishing of regulatory duty on imports of raw materials and semi-finished products.

In 2019-20, the import bill witnessed a steep decline of $10.29bn or 18.78pc to $44.509bn, compared to $54.799bn last year.

The country`s trade deficit also decreased by 0.2pc in September, mainly due to a growth in export proceeds. In absolute terms, the trade gap narrowed to $2.012bn, as compared to $2.016bn over the corresponding month of last year.

In the first three months, trade deficit narrowed by 4.94pc to $5.425bn, as against $5.707bn over the last year.

During FY20, it narrowed to $23.099bn, from $31.820bn.