Afghan exports have decreased by 65 percent over the past three months following a 4 percent increase in the first three months of the year, say officials.
The overall volume of Afghan goods exported to international markets was around $143 million in the first three months of the year, but now this figure has decreased to $50 million.
However, the Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) has said that all routes for the Afghan exports have been reopened and there are expectations that the export volume will jump up in the coming months.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industries had previously set $1.5 billion target for the Afghan exports, but with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the exports have been heavily affected.
Statistics by the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) indicate that the government achieved only 16 percent of its $1.5 billion export target.
“Our prediction was that our exports in the second half of the fiscal budget would be very good because the Ministry of Commerce and Industries had managed to reopen all corridors and routes for our business community and our exports,” said Jawad Dabir, the head of media and public affairs department in the Ministry of Commerce and Industries.
However, the Afghan business community has said that Afghan traders are still faced with obstacles as they try to export their fresh fruits and vegetables.
“If a truck carrying fruits and vegetables is stopped for one night at Torkham crossing, then the products become rotten and the traders face financial losses, therefore they don’t want to have exports,” said Akhtar Mohammad, the head of the fresh fruits and vegetables exporters group.
There are no exact figures about the volume of imports in the country.