Pakistan’s Top 10 Exports

Gwadar roadside restaurant

Gwadar roadside restaurant

Sharing land borders with economic powerhouses China and India, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan shipped US$21.9 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount reflects a -12.9% drop since 2013 but a 6.5% gain from 2016 to 2017.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Pakistan’s exported goods plus services represent 8.3% of total Pakistani economic output or Gross Domestic Product. Please note that the overall value of exported goods and services includes re-exports. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

From a continental perspective, 37.2% of Pakistan’s exports were delivered to importers in Asia while 35.5% arrived in Europe. Smaller percentages went to North America at 17.8%, Africa at 6.6% and, at 1.4%, to Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.

Given Pakistan’s population of 204.9 million people, its total $21.9 billion in 2017 exports translates to an estimated $110 for every resident in that country.

Pakistan’s unemployment rate was an estimated 6% as of May 2018, according to Trading Economics.

Pakistan’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Pakistani global shipments during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Pakistan.

  1. Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: US$4 billion (18.1% of total exports)
  2. Cotton: $3.5 billion (16%)
  3. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $2.5 billion (11.5%)
  4. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $2.5 billion (11.3%)
  5. Cereals: $1.8 billion (8%)
  6. Leather/animal gut articles: $632 million (2.9%)
  7. Sugar, sugar confectionery: $511.9 million (2.3%)
  8. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $410.6 million (1.9%)
  9. Fish: $406.9 million (1.9%)
  10. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $385.5 million (1.8%)

Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Pakistan’s Most Valuable Export Products further down near the bottom of this article.

Pakistan’s top 10 exports accounted for about three-quarters (75.6%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Pakistani sugar and sugar confectionery was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 104.1% from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for improving international sales was fish which rose by 21%.

Pakistan’s exported optical, technical and medical apparatus posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 12.7%.

Two top product categories declined, namely salt, sulphur, stone and cement (down -14%) and leather or animal gut articles (down -2%).

Advantages

The following types of Pakistani product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: US$3.6 billion (Up by 4.4% since 2016)
  2. Cotton: $2.5 billion (Down by -9.2%)
  3. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $2.5 billion (Up by 7%)
  4. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $2.4 billion (Up by 9.5%)
  5. Cereals: $1.7 billion (Up by 5.7%)
  6. Leather/animal gut articles: $593 million (Down by -3.6%)
  7. Sugar, sugar confectionery: $466.7 million (Up by 121.7%)
  8. Fish: $384.4 million (Up by 20.4%)
  9. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $371.2 million (Up by 53.4%)
  10. Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $278.4 million (Down by -4.6%)

Pakistan has highly positive net exports in the international trade of clothing-related products. In turn, these cashflows indicate Pakistan’s strong competitive advantages under various clothing-related categories.

Opportunities

Overall Pakistan incurred a -$35.6 billion trade deficit during 2017, up by 34.4% from -$26.5 billion one year earlier.

Below are exports from Pakistan that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Pakistan’s goods trail Pakistani importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$13.5 billion (Up by 43.5% since 2016)
  2. Machinery including computers: -$6.7 billion (Up by 17.7%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$4.7 billion (Up by 7.5%)
  4. Iron, steel: -$3.4 billion (Up by 24.5%)
  5. Vehicles: -$2.6 billion (Up by 27.2%)
  6. Organic chemicals: -$2.4 billion (Up by 22%)
  7. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: -$2.3 billion (Up by 24.2%)
  8. Plastics, plastic articles: -$2 billion (Up by 21.1%)
  9. Oil seeds: -$1.3 billion (Up by 35.1%)
  10. Vegetables: -$808.1 million (Up by 6.4%)

Pakistan has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for mineral fuels-related goods led by refined petroleum oils, crude oil, petroleum gases then coal.

Companies

Pakistani Export Companies

Two Pakistani corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. They are:

Based on Forbes Global 2000 rankings, the following are examples of world-class Pakistani companies:

  • Oil & Gas Development (petroleum operations)
  • Pakistan State Oil (petroleum operations)

Wikipedia also lists businesses headquartered in Pakistan that export their products. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Dalda (vegetable oil)
  • Engro Corporation (fertilizers, petrochemicals)
  • Ghani Automobile Industries (motorcycles)
  • Ittefaq Group (steel)
  • Ittehad Chemicals Limited (chemicals)
  • Khaadi (hand-woven clothing)
  • Madina Sugar Mills (PVT) Limited (sugar)
  • Master Motors (truck manufacturer)
  • Murree Brewery (beverages)
  • Servis Tyres (tire maker)

Searchable List of Pakistan’s Most Valuable Export Products

At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, Pakistan’s top export products are linens followed by unknitted and non-crocheted men’s suits, rice then cotton yarn.

The following searchable table displays 200 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Pakistan during 2017. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2016.

RankPakistani Export Product2017 Value (US$)Change
1Linens$3.1 billion+5%
2Men's suits, trousers (not knit or crochet)$2 billion+33.9%
3Rice$1.7 billion+2.4%
4Yarn (85%+ cotton)$1.2 billion+2.6%
5Woven fabrics (85%+ cotton)$940.9 million+0.5%
6Leather clothing, accessories$587.2 million-2.1%
7Woven cotton fabrics$557 million-4.8%
8Men's shirts (knit or crochet)$501.4 million+3.6%
9Men's suits,trousers (knit or crochet)$470.3 million+7.2%
10Miscellaneous articles, dress patterns$442.1 million+4.1%
11Ethyl alcohol$381.2 million+53%
12Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$365 million+5.3%
13Woven fabrics (under 85% cotton)$360.9 million-7.8%
14Sugar (cane or beet)$344.6 million+171.8%
15Stockings, hosiery (knit or crochet)$325.5 million+5%
16Women's clothing (not knit or crochet)$307.7 million-48.1%
17T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$304.2 million-0.2%
18Whole fish (frozen)$267.4 million+34.4%
19Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$237.1 million+26.3%
20Hydraulic cements$210.4 million-28.9%
21Sports equipment$204.4 million-7.1%
22Gloves, mitts (knit or crochet)$173.7 million+32.8%
23Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$172.4 million+26.9%
24Other animal leather$165.4 million-8%
25Woven fabrics with synthetic staple fibers$160.3 million+7.3%
26Other woven fabrics$156.6 million-4.4%
27Women's clothing (knit or crochet)$155.9 million+8.2%
28Dates/figs/pineapples/mangoes/avocadoes/guavas$154.3 million-8.7%
29Knotted netting of twine, cordage, rope$144.4 million+73.1%
30Medication mixes in dosage$144.1 million+5.7%
31Processed petroleum oils$142.9 million+85.9%
32Fresh or dried citrus fruit$139.6 million-18.6%
33Curtains, drapes, blinds$121.1 million+3.7%
34Further-prepared leather$119.7 million-7.5%
35Crude oil$114.5 million+48.7%
36Woven fabrics (mixed)$113.8 million+28.6%
37Fresh or chilled beef$113.6 million-16.7%
38Tarpaulins, awnings, sunblinds, tents, sails$113.4 million+0.4%
39Zoological/botanic/historic collectibles$106.2 million+0.1%
40Chromium ores, concentrates$104.3 million+30.3%
41Sugar confectionery (no cocoa)$102.2 million+32.8%
42Wheat, meslin flour$97 million-43.9%
43Women's blouses, shirts (knit or crochet)$94.8 million+27.5%
44Men's underwear, pajamas (knit or crochet)$87.2 million+27%
45Copper waste, scrap$85.9 million+119.4%
46Footwear (leather)$84.9 million-2.2%
47Crustaceans (including lobsters)$84.6 million-3.1%
48Cellulose fiber paper$82 million-1.1%
49Potatoes$81 million+3.6%
50Mattresses, quilts$80.3 million+17.9%
51Ginger, saffron, thyme, curry, other spices$71.3 million+9.6%
52Carpets, other textile floor coverings (knotted)$69.6 million-16.8%
53Male vests, underpants, pyjamas, bathrobes$64.8 million+15.8%
54Cotton (uncarded, uncombed)$60.9 million+49.1%
55Medication mixes not in dosage$58.7 million-7.8%
56Natural steatite$58.1 million+19.7%
57Cotton waste$57.9 million+24.2%
58Turbo-jets$52 million+217.6%
59Nitrogenous fertilizers$51.6 million+5,163,100%
60Table salt, denatured salt, sodium chloride$50.6 million+56.5%
61Frozen beef$50.3 million+59.4%
62Miscellaneous cutlery (e.g. hair clippers, cleavers)$49.3 million+8%
63Oil seeds$48.8 million+38%
64Packing sacks, bags$47.4 million-15.1%
65Solid-form sugars, fructose, glucose, lactose$45.6 million+13.8%
66Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes$44.2 million-17.5%
67Blankets, travel rugs$43.9 million+0.1%
68Vegetable saps, extracts$40.4 million+62.6%
69Infant clothing (knit or crochet)$40.3 million-14.8%
70Animal/vegetable hydrogenated fats, oils$39.8 million-24.9%
71Miscellaneous fresh/chilled vegetables$38.4 million-11.4%
72Iron and steel tanks, drums, boxes$38.2 million+547.5%
73Woven fabrics with synthetic staple fibers$37.5 million+87.6%
74Air or vacuum pumps$36.9 million+4.2%
75Survey/hydro/weather instruments$36.3 million+423.5%
76Cases, handbags, wallets$35.4 million+9.9%
77Phone system devices including smartphones $35.4 million-27.1%
78Women's underwear, pajamas (knit or crochet)$34.8 million-9.8%
79Wood fiberboard$34.3 million-2.6%
80Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)$32.5 million+17.7%
81Sheep/lamb leather$32.3 million+28.6%
82Woven fabrics (high synthetic fibres)$32 million+19.8%
83Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$30.8 million+12.3%
84Male overcoats, ski jackets, windbreakers$30.2 million-40.1%
85Dried fruit$29.8 million-50.8%
86Not concentrated/unsweetened milk, cream$29.7 million-3.7%
87Unmanufactured tobacco, tobacco waste$29.2 million+194.9%
88Yarn (under 85% cotton)$28.9 million-10.3%
89Monumental/building stone$28.1 million-9.4%
90Onions, garlic, leeks (fresh or chilled)$27.2 million+79.2%
91Refined copper, unwrought alloys$26.2 million+425.4%
92Fruit and vegetable juices$26 million+19.6%
93Miscellaneous garments (knit or crochet)$25.7 million-3.9%
94Worked vegetable/mineral carving material$25.1 million-5.8%
95Fish fillets, pieces$25.1 million+88.7%
96Cereal straws, husks$23.8 million+22.3%
97Miscellaneous furnishings$23.8 million-17.8%
98Red meat offal$23.8 million-0.6%
99Plastics waste, scrap$23.2 million-2.7%
100Dried/salted/in-brine fish$22.9 million+70%
101Tracksuits, swimwear (not knit or crochet)$22.8 million-38.9%
102Aluminum household articles, sanitary ware$22.5 million-5%
103Light vessels, fire boats, floating docks$22.1 million+454.8%
104Other than warp-knit fabrics$21.4 million+19.5%
105Gloves, mitts (unknit and non-crochet)$20.7 million+32%
106Razors, blades$20.5 million+11.4%
107Synthetic yarn woven fabrics$20.1 million-19.3%
108Inedible meat flour$19.7 million+96%
109Other food preparations$19.6 million-10.8%
110Molasses (from sugar extraction or refining)$19.6 million+179.5%
111Paint/varnish non-aqueous solution$18.8 million-6.7%
112Tracksuits, swimwear (knit or crochet)$18.2 million+20.1%
113Sheep or goat meat$18.1 million-59.4%
114Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$17.4 million-30.6%
115Tractors$17.3 million+4.6%
116Women's singlets,pyjamas (not knit or crochet)$17.2 million+8.4%
117Electric storage batteries$17.1 million-10.3%
118Synthetic staple fibers yarn (not sewing thread)$17.1 million-5.2%
119Bananas, plantains$16.9 million-25.3%
120Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$16.8 million+8.9%
121Flour/meal/starch/malt extract food preparations$16.6 million+58.4%
122Plastic tableware, kitchenware, toiletry$15.9 million-54.6%
123Rags, scrap twine/rope$15.9 million-22.1%
124Styrene polymers$15.6 million-19.6%
125Automobile parts/accessories$15.5 million+3.1%
126Other precious metal items$15.3 million+199.2%
127Bovine/equine leather$14.2 million+28.9%
128Gypsum, plasters$14 million-11.3%
129Animal guts, bladders, stomachs$13.6 million+3.9%
130Piston engines$13.6 million+1.5%
131Cabbages, cauliflowers, kale$12.4 million+41.6%
132Iron or steel scrap$12.2 million+37%
133Other clothing accessories$11.9 million-12.3%
134Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$11.9 million-25%
135Synthetic organic coloring$11.8 million+49.9%
136Men's coats, jackets (not knit or crochet)$11.8 million+17.7%
137Other organic cleaning preparations$11.4 million+90.1%
138Derricks, cranes$11.3 million+536.8%
139Articles made from stone/other mineral substances$11.3 million+20.6%
140Beauty preparations/makeup for skincare$11.1 million+12.5%
141Soap, organics surface-active products$11.1 million-4%
142Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs$10.7 million+989.4%
143Worn clothing$10.6 million-6.1%
144Pasta, couscous$10.1 million+13.4%
145Prepared/preserved vegetables, fruits, nuts, peels$9.9 million+8.6%
146Knives with cut blades$9.7 million+10.8%
147Men's shirts (not knit or crochet)$9.7 million-27%
148Chemical industry products/residuals$9.5 million+10.4%
149Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)$9.4 million+28.9%
150Medicinal plants$9.4 million-25.2%
151Starches, inulin$9.3 million-2.7%
152Pepper (dried/crushed/ground)$9.2 million-6.8%
153Miscellaneous footwear$9.1 million-28%
154Frozen vegetables$8.9 million-41%
155Miscellaneous animal feed preparations$8.8 million-8.8%
156Monument/building stones, art$8.7 million-15.9%
157Leather saddles, harnesses$8.7 million-8.1%
158Paper containers, cellulose wadding$8.6 million+10.1%
159Rubber tires (new)$8.6 million+1.4%
160Matches$8.5 million-26%
161Machinery parts$8.3 million-18.9%
162Labels, badges (textile materials)$8.3 million-24.9%
163Birds' eggs in shell$8.3 million-35.4%
164Tea (including flavored)$8.2 million+14.2%
165Women's blouses, shirts (unknit and non-crochet)$8.2 million-12%
166Aircraft parts$7.7 million+14.6%
167Carbonates, percarbonates$7.5 million-34.4%
168Miscellaneous plastic items$7.4 million-10.3%
169Jams, fruit jellies, marmalades, purees$7.3 million-2.5%
170Scissors, blades$7.2 million+12.2%
171Rubber waste, scrap$7 million+43%
172Industrial preparation machinery$6.8 million-2.2%
173Buttermilk, yogurt$6.7 million+2.3%
174Liquid pumps and elevators$6.5 million+20.3%
175Natural honey$6.4 million-15.9%
176Corn$6.3 million-48%
177Move/grade/scrape/boring machinery$6.3 million-37.4%
178Wrist/pocket watches (precious metal case)$6.3 million-1.7%
179Women's coats, jackets (not knit or crochet)$6.2 million+179.7%
180Natural sands$6 million-19.2%
181Float/ground/polished glass in sheets$5.8 million-25.8%
182Gelatin$5.7 million+1.1%
183Sodium/potash hydroxide, peroxide$5.6 million+457.5%
184Textile materials wadding$5.5 million+15.2%
185Copper household artilces, sanitary ware$5.5 million-1.9%
186Warp knit fabrics$5.4 million-65.9%
187Weaving machines (i.e. looms)$5.4 million+55.9%
188Biodiesel$5.2 million+308.3%
189Feldspar, leucite, nepheline, fluorspar$5.1 million+83.1%
190Scents used for beverage or industrial manufacturing$5 million+32%
191Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$5 million+535.9%
192Bones, horn-cones powder/waste$5 million+34.7%
193Electric generating sets, rotary converters$5 million+6%
194Natural barium sulphate, carbonate$4.9 million+0.02%
195Concentrated/sweetened milk, cream$4.9 million-47.4%
196Miscellaneous hand tools made from base metal$4.9 million-3%
197Baby clothing, accessories$4.8 million-56.9%
198Computers, optical readers$4.8 million+288.7%
199Women's coats, jackets (knit or crochet)$4.7 million-63.8%
200Whole fish (fresh)$4.7 million-73.6%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$21.2 billion or 97% by value for all products exported from Pakistan during 2017.

See also Pakistan’s Top Trading Partners, Pakistan’s Top 10 Imports and Top Asian Export Countries

Research Sources:
Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 13, 2018

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on August 13, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 13, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on August 13, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on August 13, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Pakistan. Accessed on August 13, 2018

Wikipedia, Pakistan. Accessed on August 13, 2018