Monday, May 20, 2024

Goods exports likely hit a 9-month high in March

Representational file image

Representational file image
| Photo Credit: K. Pichumani

India’s goods exports may have hit a three-quarter high to cross $40 billion in March, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal indicated on Tuesday, while pegging initial estimates of goods exports in 2022-23 at about $447 billion. 

Total goods exports in the first 11 months of the fiscal year ended on March 31 are currently estimated at $405.94 billion, 7.55% higher than the year-earlier period. Therefore, barring any upward revisions to the earlier months’ export numbers, the value of last month’s exports imputed from the $447 billion figure is about $41 billion, about 6.7% lower than the $44.6 billion recorded in March 2022 .

The last time goods exports were higher than March’s implied figures was in June 2022, when shipments worth $42.4 billion were despatched. Exports averaged $35.6 billion over the eight-month-period from July through February 2023. 

Stressing that restrictions on several exports such as iron ore, wheat, rice and petroleum had hurt goods exports last year by at least $20 billion, Mr. Goyal said: “Therefore, on the goods side, our growth will be about 6%. It’s not as if goods exports have not grown, it has grown from $422 billion [in 2021-22] to $447 billion at last count. Final numbers are still awaited.” 

“Services [exports] is estimated to cross $320 billion, in a way bridging the gap. So $206 billion has become $320-plus billion, more than 50% or nearly 60% growth by the time we get final numbers – in two years,” the minister said after unveiling a report on Express Delivery Services prepared by ICRIER with the Express Industry Council of India. 

“When we had prepared the roadmap for achieving two trillion dollars of exports by 2030, the number set for the year gone by was $772 billion. I am still keeping my fingers crossed to see the services numbers, and if it happens, believe me, I will probably reset the two trillion dollar target also,” Mr. Goyal remarked.

By February, imports had grown 18.8% in 2022-23 to $653.47 billion, from about $550 billion a year earlier. Consequently, India’s goods trade deficit for the first 11 months, at $247.53 billion, was 43.5% wider than the comparable year-earlier period’s figure. 

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