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India's exports to recover in 2020, growth to be subdued

Jan '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
India’s continuous export contraction is expected to stop in 2020 but the rate of growth will be subdued because of the uncertain global trade situation due to rising protectionism. The slowdown in exports now is mainly due to a decline in petroleum products, which comprise 13.42 per cent of overall outward shipments, commerce secretary Anup Wadhawan said.

However, the positive growth in the exports of non-conventional commodity groups like electronic goods, drugs and pharmaceuticals, organic and inorganic chemicals, augurs well for future growth, he told a news agency.

India's export growth is in the negative zone since August 2019 due to a steep fall in shipments of key sectors like petroleum, engineering and gems and jewellery.

Labour-intensive sectors like carpets, readymade garments, handloom and leather too are recording a decline in export growth.

The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said the global situation is becoming extremely challenging as rising protectionism is leading to uncertainty.

FIEO director general Ajay Sahai said the global situation is likely to improve in the first half of 2020, which would have a positive impact on India's exports.

He added that the order book position of Indian exporters is encouraging and less volatility in the domestic currency has also been a positive factor for traders.

Sahai also said that Indian exports have to be aligned with changing import patterns of the global economy as 50 per cent of the world imports today is accounted by electrical and electronics products, automobiles, machinery, petroleum products and plastic items.

Since January this year, exports have recorded a low rate of growth and slipped into the negative zone in August. During April-November 2019-20, the country's exports contracted by 2 per cent to $212 billion.

Going by the current trend, FIEO has estimated that the exports may stand at $330-340 billion in the current fiscal. In 2018-19, the exports grew by 9 per cent to $331 billion from $303.5 billion in 2017-18. Since 2011-12, India's exports have been hovering at around $300 billion.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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January 2021

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