The output of food and beverage companies has bounced back in 2017 owing to low base effect, higher domestic demand and improvement in some areas of food exports. Over seven months — July-January 2016-17 — food, beverages and tobacco companies have recorded about 4.8pc growth in production, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
Food companies’ output is higher this year also because the agriculture sector, too, is doing better so far than the last year.
According to initial official estimates, increasing wheat and sugarcane output and brisk activity in livestock sector suggest that agricultural growth in FY17 may reach close to the target of 3.5pc. In FY16, agriculture had contracted by 0.2pc.
Modernisation of some fish processing units and investment made in companies producing soft drinks, biscuits, sweets and confectionaries are all examples of growing confidence of the corporate sector in the food market.
Export earnings of meat and meat preparations, for example, surged 54pc in four years to $269m in FY16 from $175m in FY12.
Foreign sales of spices shot up 52pc, also in the last four years (to $76m in FY16 from $50m in FY12).