India’s exports grow 4.32%, exports up 10.7% in Jan
The Dollar Business Bureau
India’s merchandise exports rose for the fifth straight month in January, albeit sill lingering at a single-digit growth rate, as escalated shipments of raw materials such as iron ore and petroleum products helped the country cloak a 4.32% growth to $22.11 billion.
The country’s January exports growth contradicted the industry’s earlier predictions that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led demonetisation drive could significantly pull back the total exports. However, the overall impacts of the November 8 announcements were evidently marginal, as imports, too, rose a strong 10.7% to $31.96 billion, triggering an expansion of trade deficit to $9.84 billion as against $7.66 billion a year ago.
The total exports during April-January 2016-17 stood at $220.93 billion compared to $218.53 billion, accumulating a marginal growth of 1.09% during the period.
Iron ore exports skyrocketed more than ten times to reach $184.43 million, and exports of petroleum products jumped 28.96% to reach $2.69 billion from $2.08 billion a year ago.
Imports of gold witnessed a decline of 29.94% to remain at $2.04 billion, while inbound shipments of iron and steel also fell marginally by 1.08% in January. Imports of coal, however, witnessed an increase of 47% during the month.
Other global factors such as trade-protectionist measures, a slowdown in the global trade, volatility in currencies, and anti-trade attitude in the US and Europe also somewhat affected India’s merchandise exports in January.
Commenting on the January trade data, FIEO President S C Ralhan said, “While continuous positive growth in exports for last five months is encouraging, the slowdown in global trade is equally affecting us. Going by the current trend, we are expected to reach around $270 billion this fiscal.”
While the global trade growth is projected to be around 1.7%, India’s exports growth, especially of products like carpets, cashew, drugs & pharmaceuticals, engineering goods, gems & jewellery, marine products, oil meals, organic & inorganic chemicals, rice and spices, seems to be auguring well for the domestic industry sentiments.
Ralhan also complimented Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for extending various exports-oriented benefits such as MAI, MEIS, interest equalisation scheme and TIES schemes to encourage the domestic exporters.