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$23.7 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a -4.1% decrease since 2014 but an 8.3% gain from 2017 to 2018.

From a continental perspective, 37.6% of Pakistan’s exports were delivered to importers in Asia while 35.1% arrived in Europe. Another 17.6% was delivered to North America. Smaller percentages went to Africa (6.3%), Latin America (1.5%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Oceania (1.3%) led by Australia.

Given Pakistan’s population of 207.9 million people, its total $23.7 billion in 2018 exports translates to an estimated $120 for every resident in the South Asian nation.

In macroeconomic terms, Pakistan’s total exported goods represent 2.1% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2018 ($1.141 trillion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 2.1% for exports to overall GDP per PPP in 2018 compares to 2.7% for 2014, seeming to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Pakistan’s total economic performance. And while this article focuses on exported goods, it is interesting to note that Pakistan also provided $5.3 billion worth of exports-related services to global customers for an additional 0.5% of GDP in PPP.

Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Pakistan’s unemployment rate was an estimated 5.9% as of March 2019, 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 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Pakistan.

  1. Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: US$4.1 billion (17.1% of total exports)
  2. Cotton: $3.5 billion (14.9%)
  3. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $2.9 billion (12%)
  4. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $2.6 billion (10.9%)
  5. Cereals: $2.4 billion (9.9%)
  6. Leather/animal gut articles: $662.7 million (2.8%)
  7. Sugar, sugar confectionery: $519 million (2.2%)
  8. Mineral fuels including oil: $499.5 million (2.1%)
  9. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $453.1 million (1.9%)
  10. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $445.4 million (1.9%)

Pakistan’s top 10 exports accounted for about three-quarters (75.7%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Pakistani mineral fuels including oil was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 93.2% from 2017 to 2018.

In second place for improving international sales was cereals which rose by 34.2%, propelled by shipments of corn, rice, grain sorghum and barley.

Pakistan’s exports under the beverages, spirits and vinegar category posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 18.6%.

The slowest-growing top category was cotton thanks to its 0.7% improvement year over year.

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.

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$3.7 billion (Up by 1.9% since 2017)
  2. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $2.8 billion (Up by 13.8%)
  3. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $2.5 billion (Up by 4.1%)
  4. Cotton: $2.2 billion (Down by -11.8%)
  5. Cereals: $2.2 billion (Up by 33.9%)
  6. Leather/animal gut articles: $632.1 million (Up by 6.6%)
  7. Sugar, sugar confectionery: $477.4 million (Up by 2.3%)
  8. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $443.7 million (Up by 19.5%)
  9. Fish: $422 million (Up by 9.8%)
  10. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $313.1 million (Up by 28.1%)

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 -$36.6 billion trade deficit during 2018, up by 3% from -$35.6 billion in red ink 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-$16.6 billion (Up by 23.6% since 2017)
  2. Machinery including computers: -$6.1 billion (Down by -9.1%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$4.2 billion (Down by -9%)
  4. Iron, steel: -$3.6 billion (Up by 8.2%)
  5. Organic chemicals: -$2.8 billion (Up by 16.6%)
  6. Vehicles: -$2.6 billion (Down by -2.2%)
  7. Plastics, plastic articles: -$2.2 billion (Up by 8.3%)
  8. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: -$2.1 billion (Down by -10.3%)
  9. Oil seeds: -$1.4 billion (Up by 2.8%)
  10. Fertilizers: -$963.3 million (Up by 38.5%)

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 2018. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2017.

RankPakistan's Export Product2018 Value (US$)Change
1Linens$3.2 billion+3.4%
2Men's suits, trousers (not knit or crochet)$2.2 billion+9.7%
3Rice$2 billion+15.7%
4Yarn (85%+ cotton)$1.2 billion-0.1%
5Woven fabrics (85%+ cotton)$969.6 million+3%
6Woven cotton fabrics$626.2 million+12.4%
7Leather clothing, accessories$614.9 million+4.7%
8Men's suits,trousers (knit or crochet)$567 million+20.6%
9Men's shirts (knit or crochet)$508.9 million+1.5%
10Miscellaneous articles, dress patterns$481.4 million+8.9%
11Ethyl alcohol$450.3 million+18.1%
12Sugar (cane or beet)$403.8 million+17.2%
13T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$398.9 million+31.1%
14Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$378.4 million+3.7%
15Stockings, hosiery (knit or crochet)$350.6 million+7.7%
16Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$342.3 million+44.4%
17Wheat$333.6 million+30935.5%
18Woven fabrics (under 85% cotton)$308.9 million-14.4%
19Whole fish (frozen)$286.7 million+7.2%
20Hydraulic cements$261.3 million+24.2%
21Crude oil$261 million+128%
22Processed petroleum oils$237 million+65.9%
23Women's clothing (not knit or crochet)$224 million-27.2%
24Sports equipment$218.1 million+6.7%
25Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$204.1 million+18.4%
26Synthetic staple fibers woven fabrics$184.9 million+15.4%
27Dates/figs/pineapples/mangoes/avocadoes/guavas$184.8 million+19.7%
28Fresh or dried citrus fruit$181.5 million+30%
29Fresh or chilled beef$163.2 million+43.6%
30Other animal leather$160.6 million-2.9%
31Gloves, mitts (knit or crochet)$160.5 million-7.6%
32Medication mixes in dosage$160.1 million+11.1%
33Women's clothing (knit or crochet)$152.8 million-2%
34Woven fabrics (mixed)$151.3 million+33%
35Refined copper, unwrought alloys$131 million+400.7%
36Other woven fabrics$128 million-18.3%
37Potatoes$124.4 million+53.7%
38Wheat/meslin flour$116.8 million+20.4%
39Curtains, drapes, blinds$106.9 million-11.8%
40Men's underwear, pajamas (knit or crochet)$103.3 million+18.4%
41Footwear (leather)$99.6 million+17.3%
42Further-prepared leather$96.2 million-19.6%
43Women's blouses, shirts$90.5 million-4.6%
44Crustaceans (including lobsters)$89.7 million+6%
45Mattresses, quilts$89.4 million+11.3%
46Camp items including tents, sails$84.8 million-25.2%
47Twine/cordage/rope knotted netting$83.5 million-42.1%
48Men's singlets, vests, underpants, pyjamas$77.1 million+18.9%
49Ginger, saffron, thyme, bay leaves, curry$73.7 million+3.3%
50Oil seeds$71.6 million+46.7%
51Chromium ores, concentrates$71.1 million-31.9%
52Cellulose fiber paper$69 million-15.8%
53Textile floor coverings, carpets$66 million-5.2%
54Woven fabrics (85% synthetic staple fibers)$61.2 million+62.9%
55Copper waste, scrap$60.7 million-29.4%
56Sugar confectionery (no cocoa)$58.8 million-42.4%
57Cotton waste$57.9 million+0.1%
58Natural steatite$53.9 million-7.3%
59Salt, pure sodium chloride$51.6 million+2%
60Onions, garlic, leeks$50.5 million+85.3%
61Miscellaneous cutlery including hair clippers$48.9 million-0.7%
62Infant clothing (knit or crochet)$46.7 million+15.9%
63Yarn (under 85% cotton)$43.1 million+48.9%
64Vegetable saps, extracts$43 million+6.4%
65Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes$41.6 million-6%
66Turbo-jets$40.2 million-22.6%
67Solid-form sugars, fructose, glucose, lactose$39.4 million-13.5%
68Packing sacks, bags$38.5 million-18.8%
69Woven fabrics (high synthetic fibres)$38.1 million+19%
70Cases, handbags, wallets$37.2 million+5%
71Animal/vegetable hydrogenated fats, oils$35.1 million-11.9%
72Blankets, travel rugs$34.8 million-20.8%
73Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$33.5 million+8.9%
74Medication mixes not in dosage$32.9 million-44%
75Men's overcoats, capes, ski jackets$32.8 million+8.6%
76Inedible meat flour$31.5 million+59.6%
77Air or vacuum pumps$31.3 million-15.2%
78Ligneous/wood fiberboard$31.1 million-9.2%
79Dried fruit$30.8 million+3.3%
80Miscellaneous fresh/chilled vegetables$30.8 million-19.9%
81Women's underwear, pajamas (knit or crochet)$29.1 million-16.4%
82Phone system devices $29 million-17.9%
83Move/grade/scrape/boring machinery$28.3 million+347.7%
84Miscellaneous furnishings$28.3 million+18.8%
85Styrene polymers$27.4 million+75.6%
86Sheep/lamb leather$26.9 million-16.7%
87Calcareous monument/building stone$26.1 million-7%
88Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)$26.1 million-19.8%
89Tracksuits, swimwear (knit or crochet)$25.8 million+41.3%
90Other than warp-knit fabrics$25.5 million+19%
91Cereal straws, husks$24.3 million+2%
92Other food preparations$23.6 million+20.3%
93Fruit and vegetable juices$23.5 million-9.9%
94Tea (including flavored)$23.5 million+184.9%
95Fish fillets, pieces$22.6 million-9.7%
96Synthetic organic coloring$22.1 million+86.5%
97Tracksuits, swimwear (not knit or crochet)$21.8 million-4.3%
98Bananas, plantains$21.8 million+29.1%
99Synthetic yarn woven fabrics$21.5 million+6.9%
100Sheep or goat meat$21.1 million+16.3%
101Not concentrated/unsweetened milk, cream$21 million-29.3%
102Frozen beef$20.5 million-59.3%
103Textile gloves, mittens$20.4 million-1.7%
104Animal guts, bladders, stomachs$20.2 million+48%
105Table/kitchen/other household items$20.1 million-10.5%
106Synthetic staple fiber yarn$19.6 million+14.7%
107Razors, blades$19.4 million-5.2%
108Gypsum, plasters$19.3 million+37.1%
109Unmanufactured tobacco, tobacco waste$19.2 million-34.1%
110Electric storage batteries$19.2 million+12.5%
111Cotton (uncarded, uncombed)$19 million-68.8%
112Plastic tableware, kitchenware, toiletry$18.8 million+18.4%
113Miscellaneous oil cakes$18.7 million+333.3%
114Rags, scrap twine/rope$18.6 million+17.5%
115Flour/meal/starch/malt extract food preparations$18.6 million+11.5%
116Miscellaneous garments (knit or crochet)$18.5 million-28.1%
117Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$18.4 million+9.1%
118Automobile parts/accessories$18.4 million+18.6%
119Women's singlets,pyjamas (not knit or crochet)$18.3 million+6.6%
120Cabbages, cauliflowers, kale$17.5 million+41.2%
121Molasses (from sugar extraction or refining)$16.9 million-14%
122Men's coats, jackets (not knit or crochet)$16.3 million+37.9%
123Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$16 million-8%
124Red meat offal$15.9 million-33%
125Soya-bean oil-cake, other solid residues$15.7 million+1,988%
126Iron or steel scrap$15.1 million+24%
127Dried/salted/smoked fish$15 million-34.3%
128Frozen vegetables$14.9 million+67.9%
129Tractors$14.5 million-16%
130Paint/varnish non-aqueous solution$14.5 million-23.1%
131Derricks, cranes$14.1 million+24.3%
132Tugboats, pusher craft$14.1 million+225.5%
133Industrial preparation machinery$13.4 million+97.4%
134Worn clothing$13.3 million+25.4%
135Aircraft parts$13.2 million+71.2%
136Piston engines$13.2 million-2.9%
137Birds' eggs in shell$12.8 million+54.5%
138Carbonates, percarbonates$12.7 million+68.3%
139Women's coats, jackets (knit or crochet)$12.6 million+167.2%
140Medicinal plants$12.5 million+34%
141Bovine/equine leather$12 million-15.3%
142Machinery parts$11.8 million+42.3%
143Vegetable/mineral carving material, items$11.7 million-53.4%
144Monument/building stones, art$11.6 million+33.8%
145Survey/hydro/weather instruments$11.6 million-68.1%
146Other clothing accessories$11.5 million-3.7%
147#N/A$11.5 million+3.3%
148Plastics waste, scrap$11.4 million-50.7%
149Miscellaneous footwear$11.4 million+25%
150Starches, inulin$11.2 million+20.9%
151Stone/other mineral substances$10.7 million-5.1%
152Knives with cut blades$10 million+3%
153Vinegar-prepared vegetables, fruits, nuts$9.9 million-0.5%
154Whole fish (fresh)$9.9 million+111.5%
155Pasta, couscous$9.9 million-2%
156Iron and steel tanks, drums, boxes$9.8 million-74.4%
157Leather saddles, harnesses$9.3 million+7.1%
158Rubber waste, scrap$9.2 million+32.2%
159Cereal groats, meal, pellets$9.1 million+125.6%
160Tomatoes$8.7 million+1014%
161Matches excluding pyrotechnics$8.7 million+2.1%
162Chemical industry products/residuals$8.6 million-9.6%
163Liquid pumps and elevators$8.5 million+31.6%
164Interchangeable hand/machine tools$8.5 million+92.5%
165Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches$8.4 million+1,189%
166Live poultry, other fowls$8.4 million+120.8%
167Unworked bones, horn-cones$8.1 million+62.6%
168Women's shirts (not knit or crochet)$8.1 million-1.2%
169Textile labels, badges$8 million-3%
170Synthetic filament yarn$8 million+133.1%
171Other organic cleaning preparations$7.9 million-30.4%
172Hand tools including glaziers' diamonds$7.9 million+60.6%
173Electric motor parts$7.9 million+19,046%
174Nitrogenous fertilizers$7.8 million-84.8%
175Bran, other residues$7.8 million+176.4%
176Natural sands$7.8 million+29.4%
177Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$7.8 million-34.5%
178Rubber tires (new)$7.4 million-14.1%
179Uncoated kraft paper$7.4 million+291.2%
180Weaving machines (loom)$7.4 million+37.1%
181Paper containers, cellulose wadding$7.3 million-16%
182Moluscs$7.2 million+584.4%
183Miscellaneous plastic items$7.2 million-2.3%
184Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$7.2 million-35.4%
185Miscellaneous animal feed preparations$7.1 million-19.7%
186Scissors, blades$7.1 million-1.3%
187Baby clothing, accessories$7 million+44.6%
188Aircraft, spacecraft$6.9 million+506.1%
189Men's shirts (not knit or crochet)$6.9 million-29.1%
190Natural honey$6.8 million+6.3%
191Paint/varnish aqueous solution$6.7 million+135.4%
192Rubber inner tubes$6.7 million+44.9%
193Gelatin$6.7 million+16.7%
194Aluminum containers$6.5 million+433.6%
195Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs$6.3 million-41.1%
196Miscellaneous preserved fruits$6.1 million+174.1%
197Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)$6.1 million-35.9%
198Jams, fruit jellies, marmalades, purées$5.9 million-19.6%
199Pepper (dried/crushed/ground)$5.7 million-38.3%
200Natural magnesite$5.6 million+200.2%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$22.9 billion or 96.7% by value for all products exported from Pakistan during 2018.

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

Research Sources:
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 27, 2019

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 27, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 27, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 27, 2019

Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 27, 2019

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Pakistan. Accessed on March 27, 2019

Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 27, 2019

Wikipedia, Pakistan. Accessed on March 27, 2019

World’s Richest Countries, Targeted research > Enriching insights > Global opportunities (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 27, 2019