India’s merchandise exports remain flat at $33 billion in August


On conservating estimate, exports will cross $750 billion amid global headwinds, said Commerce Secretary

On conservating estimate, exports will cross $750 billion amid global headwinds, said Commerce Secretary

At a press briefing, Commerce Secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam, on September 3, 2022 said that merchandise exports for the month of August are flat at $33 billion, the same level as last year.

Mr. Subrahmanyam said services exports are rocking at $95 billion in the first four months of 2022-23, $26 billion more than last year and will beat records this year.

Commerce Secretary said “Indian exports are holding ground amid global headwinds and will cross $750 billion this year on a conservative estimate.”

Mr. Subrahmanyam said “Services exports will cross $300 billion and goods exports will cross $450 billion on the lower bound. Our own estimate is $470 billion dollars for the year.”

He said that some sectors have done phenomenally well in August like electronic goods, up 50%, rice up 42% and chemicals up 14%.

He further stated “There is some concern about Christmas orders. Exporters’ order books are full but there are cases where buyers are asking for shipments not to be despatched.”

Mr. Subrahmanyam said “What is the reason for the flat growth in exports? To control inflation, we have put some restrictions. Wheat has almost gone into negative list, steel and iron pellets too have been put in that kind of a restriction on exports. iron ore was restricted last year.”

The Commerce Secretary said “Imports in August are $61.68 billion, 37% higher than a year ago. Over the five months of the year, imports are $318 billion.”

He said “Coal and petroleum imports driving the rise in imports but overall rise in imports is a sign of a healthy demand in the economy as 25% of our imports are for consumer items, while 75% are raw materials, etc.”

Mr. Subrahmanyam said “If you look at it in totality, the trade deficit for the whole year is likely to be 160-180 billion dollars. With remittances at $90 billion, we expect the current account deficit to be in the range of 3% of GDP, which isn’t bad but something we need to be careful about. But the current primary concern is inflation and measures to cool price rise will result in some challenges on exports and imports front.”

The Commerce Secretary said “India’s exports to China have declined 35% in the first five months of 2022-23 to $6.8 billion from $10.6 billion last year.”

He further said “Gold imports have fallen 47% in the month of August to $3.5 billion from $6.7 billion a year ago. For the full year so far, gold imports are down 12.84% and this reflects the measures taken by the government to curb gold imports are working. Part of the gold imports are of course, for jewellery that is re-exported”

Mr. Subrahmanyam concluded “In the worst case scenario, merchandise exports will be $450 billion. we would like the trend of flat exports to change, and measures to boost exports will be taken. India will also unveil a new Foreign Trade Policy on September 30 that should provide a fillip to exports.”

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