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Pakistan’s bike production drops for first time since 2000

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  • Stagnant incomes, declining agricultural growth caused slump.
  • Production dropped by 34% in first five months of FY22-23.
  • Production of other companies except Honda declined by 73%.

LAHORE: Motorcycle manufacturing and sales have continued their vigorous growth, from around 100,000 bikes in 1999-2000 to 2.6 million in 2021-22, despite recession or boom. However, 2022-23 could be the first fiscal year since 2000, when bike manufacturing will drop steeply.

Does the bike slump indicate Pakistan’s worst recession?

The drop in bike manufacturing and sales may also be due to the steep increase in the price of two-wheelers.

Since bikes are purchased and used by low-income buyers, the sales might have slowed a bit if the prices remained stable, however, at current rates and almost stagnant incomes, people are struggling to make ends meet.

Another reason for the drop might be declining agricultural productivity, as most motorbike sales in the country are accounted for in rural areas. Recent floods that affected over 34 million people are a reason for slumping sales.

Motorcycle production data is from the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA), however, many motorbike manufacturers are not registered with it, and the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) records their production data.

Most of the local bike manufacturers produce the 70cc variant, barring three Japanese manufacturers. However, there has always been a huge price difference in the retail price of the 70cc Japanese bike and the local or Chinese models.

But, the Japanese brand sales are still almost double the sales of all other brands. Currently, the market leader Japanese 70cc bike costs Rs125,000 while local 70cc variants are available at Rs80,000 to Rs85,000.

However, the statistics for last year are available that put the total motorbike production at 2.6 million. 

According to data in 2021-22, the market leader produced 1.35 million motorcycles, and the rest 1.25 million units were sold by all others, including two other Japanese brands. These Japanese brands, however, produced motorbikes of 100cc or above power. 

The PAMA statistics for the first five months of the current fiscal year give a true picture of the state of the bike industry in the country.

In the July-November 2022 period, the bike industry (registered with PAMA) produced 521,643 bikes against 797,346 produced during the same period of last year. This is a massive decline of 34% in the first five months of this fiscal.

To get a picture of the turmoil faced by different manufacturers, a further study of the PAMA statistics revealed that Honda produced 563,268 bikes in the first five months of the last fiscal. This year the production has declined to 435,390 a decline of over 22%.

United Auto Motorcycle is the next brand with the highest production. It produced 136,720 units from July-November 2021. This fiscal year during the same five months, the production has dropped to 38,957 bikes. This is a massive decline of over 300%.

Next comes, Road Prince Motorcycle, which produced 52,289 motorcycles in the first five months of the last fiscal. During the same period this fiscal, its production has declined to 14,540 units. This again is a huge decline witnessed in the industry. 

Overall the production of all other motorcycle producers except Honda declined by 73%.

This unexpected decline in motorcycle uptake has created turmoil in the industry and thousands of workers have been laid off. Some industry experts attribute the decline in bike production to the restrictions on the import of components imposed by the government.

This may be partially true but we must recognise the fact that the buyers lack the finances to buy two-wheelers at current high rates.

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In a first for history, PSX crosses the 77,000 milestone.

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At 77,213.31, the benchmark KSE-100 hit an all-time high, up 1,005.15, or 1.32%, from the previous close of 76,208.16.

The government’s readiness to seal an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following the budget was cited by analysts as the reason for the upward trend.

Experts anticipate that in an attempt to bolster its position for a fresh bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the budget for the fiscal year ending in June 2025 would set aggressive fiscal goals.

Budget for Pakistan, 2024–2025
Pakistan’s budget for the fiscal year 2024–25, with a total expenditure of Rs18.877 trillion, was presented on Wednesday by Minister of Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb.

The Finance Minister, Muhammad Aurangzeb, outlined the budget highlights. He stated that the GDP growth target for the fiscal year 2024–25 is set at 3.6 percent, while the inflation rate is anticipated to stay at 12 percent.

He stated that while the primary surplus is anticipated to be 1.0 percent of GDP during the review period, the budget deficit to GDP is forecast to be 6.9 percent over the period under review.

According to the minister, tax income collection increased by 38% in the current fiscal year, and the province will receive Rs7,438 billion. The Federal Board of income expects to earn Rs12,970 billion in revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.

In contrast to the federal government’s projected net income of Rs9,119 billion, he stated that the federation’s non-tax revenue projections are set at Rs3,587 billion.

The federal government’s total outlays are projected to be Rs18,877 billion, with interest payments accounting for the remaining Rs9,775 billion.

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Pakistan currently has $14.38 billion in foreign exchange reserves.

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Pakistan’s commercial banks’ reserves, which stood at $5.28 billion at the conclusion of the week ending on June 7, rose by US$174 million, according to a central bank statement.

Reserving US$6.2 million less, the SBP now has US$9.10 billion in reserves. The causes for the decline in the reserves it had were not disclosed by the central bank.

The SBP released a statement that stated, “SBP reserves decreased by US$ 6 million to US$ 9,103.3 million during the week ended on 07-June-2024.”

The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) foreign exchange reserves were reduced by US$ 63 million as a result of repaying external debt, with the reserves standing at US$ 9.093 billion as of earlier on June 6.

The central bank spokesperson said in a statement that as of the week that concluded on May 31, the nation’s total liquid foreign reserves were $14.31 billion.

In terms of net foreign reserves, commercial banks have US$ 5.22 billion of the overall foreign reserves, according to the SBP.

SBP reserves dropped by US$ 63 million to US$ 9,093.7 million during the week that ended on May 24, 2024, according to the announcement.

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In the local market, the price of gold plummets to Rs240,700/tola.

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Gold with a 24-karat purity level has dropped by Rs1200/tola on the local market.

Each tola of 24-karat gold is now selling for Rs240,700, with a further drop of Rs1029 bringing the price of 10 kilos of gold to Rs206,361. These figures are courtesy of the All Sarafa and Jewelers Association.

Meanwhile, after a $2 decline on the global market, one ounce of gold will be valued $2315.

A tola of gold was worth Rs 600 more on Wednesday.

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