Major Exports of Pakistan: Rice, Cotton, Mangoes & More

Update (Oct. 12, 2023): Pakistan’s exports are surging in fiscal year 2023-24, witnessing a remarkable 22.45% increase, reaching a total of Rs1.27 trillion in just the first two months. This impressive growth is significantly boosting the country’s economic outlook.

Data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) shows that exports between July and August 2023 soared to Rs1.27 trillion, marking a substantial 22.45% increase from the previous year’s Rs1.04 trillion.

Notably, in August 2023, exports experienced a robust year-on-year growth of 26.75%, totaling Rs695.1 billion, compared to Rs548.4 billion in August 2022.

Month-on-month, exports also showcased a remarkable increase of 19.62% when compared to July 2023’s exports of Rs581.1 billion. The leading export commodity is knitwear, contributing Rs117.8 billion.


Update (Feb 08, 2021): The government of Pakistan has recently given a green signal to the export of selected commodities to Central Asian Republics (CARs) through Afghanistan against the Pakistani rupee.

The items that have recently been allowed to be exported to Central Asia are rice, poultry, meat, fruits, cement, different types of dried fruits, fish and other seafood products. 

The list of the selected commodities for exports also includes items, such as vegetables, bakery products, textiles and related products, building stones, pharmaceutical supplies and surgical instruments among other items.

The recent export amendment is envisaged to boost the economic cooperation between Central Asian countries and Pakistan — evidently diversifying the scope of trade activities in the region.


Update (Jan. 5, 2022): Owing to the recently introduced government’s policy favouring the local manufacturing industries, Pakistan’s export has witnessed unprecedented growth in 2021. The country exported items worth $15.125 between July and December 2021, outpacing the projected target of $15 billion.

The federal government has also recently proposed a mini-budget, which is based on levying higher taxes on luxury items to discourage imports and aimed to bring down the trade deficit. The mini-budget is yet to be approved by the parliament and presented before the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting.


Update (Oct. 29, 2021):  According to the official Twitter handle of Advisor to the Prime Minister for Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, Pakistan’s export to neighbouring and regional countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and other Central Asian states has been increased by 35% and reached to $938 million in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. During the same period last year, regional exports were recorded at $694 million. 

In the wake of this development, many key government officials and financial experts in the country have appreciated the newly incorporated export policies, which have been primarily formulated to improve regional connectivity. The government is currently focused on long-term sustainability and expansion of the export industry to reduce the trade deficit.


UPDATE (July 15, 2021): Pakistan’s goods exports achieved a historic high of $25.3 billion in the fiscal year 2020-21, according to Adviser Abdul Razzak Dawood. (Keep reading the blog to learn more about the major exports of Pakistan.)

During a presser, Dawood reported Pakistan’s export growth increased 18% in the last financial year, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Major increases were seen in:

Textile: 18.85%

Pharmaceuticals: 27%

copper and copper derivatives: 44%

On the other hand, decreases in rice exports were recorded at 8%, cotton yarn at 2%; raw leather at 16%, and plastic exports at 6%.


UPDATE (June 4, 2021): In the first 11 months of the current fiscal year, Pakistan’s exports increased 14 percent to $22.6 billion, in what is being hailed a rapid recovery to pre-pandemic levels, according to the commerce ministry.

Adviser to Prime Minister of Pakistan for Commerce and Investment Razak Dawood credited exporters’ efforts for the growth.

“This is an increase of $2.762 billion and the credit goes to our exporters for maintaining the momentum of our exports during a year marred by contraction and uncertainty in our major markets,” Dawood wrote on Twitter.


UPDATE (May 6, 2021): Pakistan recorded a nearly 70% increase in exports to China in the first quarter of 2021, according to a tweet by Moin ul Haque, Pakistan’s ambassador to China.

“Impressive figures of Pakistan’s exports to China in 1st quarter of year 2021. $888 million as compared to 2020′ Q1 $526 million. An increase of 69%,” the official tweeted.

“Let us keep this momentum to achieve a historic record in 2021,” Haque added.


UPDATE (April 2, 2021): Pakistan’s exports in March reached a 10-year-high of $2.3 billion, according to a tweet by Adviser to Prime Minister for Commerce and Investment Razak Dawood.

“Ministry of commerce is glad to share that according to provisional figures, in March 2021 our exports increased to $2.345 billion. This is an increase of 13.4 percent over February 2021. It is the monthly highest in last 10 years,” Dawood wrote on Twitter.

“This is also the first time since 2011 that exports have crossed the $2 billion mark for six consecutive months,” he added.


UPDATE: (Jan 7, 2021): The exports of India and Bangladesh showed negative growth while Pakistan achieved record growth in exports last year in November and December, according to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

On Jan. 1, the premier congratulated exporters on achieving record exports in Dec 2020 “with a growth of 18 % over the previous year.”

“Well done & keep up this trend. A major pillar of our govt’s economic policy is export enhancement & we will provide full support to promote export culture,” Khan wrote on Twitter.


It might have taken a long time coming, but Pakistan has steadily and prominently matured as one of the fastest developing countries in the world, an undeniable example of which is Pakistan’s Credit Rating Outlook.  Pakistan has always been a formidable exporter of a wide variety of commodities. The country is expected to see further growth and is well on its way to becoming the leading economies in the near future, amongst eleven other countries. So, we have taken the liberty to list all the major exports of Pakistan to add to your knowledge about the country. Read on as we discuss these exports individually. 

History of Development of Major Exports of Pakistan

During 2018, a global survey revealed that the highest revenue-generating exports of Pakistan included linens, unstitched/stitched, and none-crocheted/crochet men’s suits, rice, cotton yarn, and woven fabrics, embroidered dress patterns, leather products, along with a slew of related accessories, and finally, ethyl alcohol. 

Although the Islamic Republic of Pakistan shares its territorial borders with economic juggernauts such as China and India, the country has global exports worth a significant $23.6 billion to its credit, which shows a tremendous gain of 8% from 2017 to 2018. Additionally, the country had also exported services worth around $5.3 billion during the same period, along with commercial services estimated at $4 billion.

The most significant export commodities of Pakistan offered at the highest dollar value during 2018 included:

  • Textiles and worn clothing: US$4.1 billion (17.1% of total exports) 
  • Cotton: $3.5 billion (14.9%) 
  • Knitted or crocheted clothing and accessories: $2.9 billion (12%) 
  • Clothing accessories: $2.6 billion (10.9%) 
  • Cereals: $2.4 billion (9.9%) 
  • Leather/animal gut articles: $662.7 million (2.8%) 
  • Sugar and manufactured products: $519 million (2.2%) 
  • Mineral fuels including oil: $499.5 million (2.1%) 
  • Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $453.1 million (1.9%) 
  • Salt, sulfur, stone, cement: $445.4 million (1.9%) 
  • Fish and poultry: $422 million (1.8%) 

Each of the export groups mentioned above contributes a significant percentage to the collective export landscape of Pakistan, which accounts for over three quarters (76.5%). It has been observed that mineral fuels were the fastest-growing export sector besides the top 9 categories as it significantly grew by nearly 93.2% between 2017 and 2018. Coming in at second, cereals increased by 34.2%, supported further by corn, rice, grain sorghum, and barley shipment. The third-largest gain was observed in the beverages, spirits, and vinegar category, which accounted for 18.6% of the total exports. 

List of Major Exports of Pakistan

The major exports of Pakistan include textiles, leather and sports goods, chemicals, carpets, and rugs. Meanwhile, Pakistan also exports significant quantities of rice, sugar, cotton, fish, fruits, and vegetables. The country ranks among Asia’s largest camel market, second-largest apricot and ghee (oil), and third-largest cotton, onion, and milk market. Here’s a look at some exports that help Pakistan stand out in the exporting community across the world:

  • Rice
  • Mangoes
  • Oranges 
  • Cotton
  • Surgical Instruments
  • Leather Goods 
  • Furniture
  • Football
  • Sea Food 

Rice

Pakistani basmati rice are famous all around the world
Basmati Rice contributes to more than half income from exports.

Pakistan is regarded among the best producers of high-quality basmati rice, which is then exported to several countries, including Oman, the UAE, Kenya, Thailand, and Jordan, to name a few. In 2018, the country exported nearly 3 million metric tons of rice valued at US$1.224 billion, which has had a positive impact on the country’s economy. Also, rice has historically been the second-largest export of the country.

Mangoes

While Pakistan is renowned as the fifth-largest mango producer in the world, the fruit is the country’s second-largest export. Pakistan annually grows 110 diverse kinds of mangoes, among which the most notable are Chaunsa, Sindhri, Langra, Dasehri, Anwar Ratool, Saroli, Toota Pari, Fajri, Neelum, Almas, Sanwal, and Desi. Iran, China, the Middle East, Japan, Hong Kong, and Germany are the most prominent importers of the mangoes grown in Pakistan. 

If you want to know more about Pakistani mangoes and its types, head over to our recently published blog now.

Oranges

Pakistan produces best quality of oranges
There’s no match for Pakistani oranges around the world

You can easily find the best quality fresh Oranges (also known as Kinnows) in Pakistan, a fruit that the country exported 370,000 metric tons of during 2018 and generated $222 million from it. Russia, Philippine, Iran, Sri-Lanka, Indonesia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and the UAE are among the biggest importers of Kinnows from Pakistan.

Cotton

Among the top cash-crop exports of Pakistan, 33,683 metric tons of cotton fibre, spun, and raw cotton was exported, worth an estimated $55.551 million, whereas 332,325 metric tons of cotton yarn worth $859.716 million and another $8.793 billion worth of textile products (stitched garments, knitwear, cotton clothes, bedsheets, and towels) were exported within an 8-month cycle during 2017 and 2018. Pakistan globally exports cotton to China, Germany, the US, the UK, France, Russia, Italy, Spain, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and the Netherlands, among other countries.

Surgical Instruments

Quality surgical tools are exported from Pakistan
Pakistan is a pioneer in producing quality surgical tools

Nearly 3,600 firms with a combined workforce of 150,000 people are operational in Pakistan, manufacturing the highest quality surgical and dental instruments, besides producing a wide range of other precision tools using the finest raw material and following the highest standards. In 2018 alone, Pakistan globally exported nearly $221.298 million worth of surgical instruments to the USA, the UK, Germany, Brazil, France, Australia, and Russia.

Leather Goods

Bags, jackets, pants, shoes, and other daily wear products manufactured from Leather are also among the highest revenue-generating export products of Pakistan. During 2018, Pakistan shipped close to $478.85 million worth of leather goods, primarily to major importers including Russia, Italy, France, Canada, the UK, the US, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, and Brazil.

Furniture

Pakistan exports wooden furniture to American and European countries
Premium quality furniture is exported from different parts of Punjab

Among the very few in the world, Pakistan prepares top-quality furniture in Punjab and exports $8 million to $12 million worth of it annually to the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the US. Meanwhile, China is seeking to establish better and more furniture trade by creating Pakistani outlets in its major cities.

Football

Pakistan holds the prestigious place of being the best quality football producer in the world, among other sports goods. Pakistan exported 37.28 million footballs worldwide worth $153.018 million in 2018, and the footballs manufactured in Pakistan are often used in FIFA tournaments. Telstar and Brazuca were Pakistani manufactured footballs that were used during consecutive FIFA World Cups in Russia and Brazil, respectively. The country also holds the distinction of providing hand-stitched football for all the world cups from 1990 to 2010. 

Seafood

One of the major exports of Pakistan is seafood
Pakistani is especially known for seafood

Pakistan annually exports a large quantity of fresh and healthy shrimps and prawns worldwide, and the country globally shipped $264.18 million worth of fish between 2017 and 2018, especially to its two chief seafood importers, The European Union and China.

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