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Big Decelerating Trend in Export Growth Major Worry: FIEO President

New Delhi:

Port Wings News Network:

The exports data for February, 2018 are not encouraging, said Mr Ganesh Kumar Gupta, President, FIEO, as engineering, apparels, gems and Jewellery, cotton textile and carpets are showing negative growth. Leaving petroleum exports, the overall growth comes to 1% in February. We are worried about gems and Jewellery exports, said FIEO Chief as sector is facing huge liquidity issue as banks are tightening their norms, which does not augur well for its exports in next few months.

President FIEO said that domestic issues affecting exports should be looked into as despite global challenges and increasing protectionism, China clocked over 44% growth in February.

Mr Gupta also expressed his concern with the rising trade deficit, as export growth is not keeping pace with import growth, which for the month of February, 2018 showed a growth of 11.02% against export growth of 4.48%, leading the trade deficit for the fiscal to even may surpassing USD 150 billion mark.

Only 18 out of 30 major product groups were in positive territory during February, 2018 including Petroleum, Electronic goods, Organic & Inorganic Chemicals, Drugs & Pharmaceuticals, Plantations, Plastics & Linoleum, plantations and Marine exports.

Mr Gupta hopes that the decision made by the government for speedy clearance of IGST and ITC refund of exporters through Refund Fortnight initiative from March 15-29, 2018 by CBEC and Commercial Taxes Departments of States/Union Territories will help in changing the decelerating trend of growth in exports.

INDIA’S FOREIGN TRADE: February 2018

MERCHANDISE TRADE

EXPORTS (including re-exports)

Exports during February 2018 have exhibited positive growth of 4.48 per cent in dollar terms vis-à-vis February2017. Exports have been on a positive trajectory since August 2016 to February 2018except for a temporary setback in October 2017.

Exports during February 2018were valued at US$ 25834.36million as compared to US$ 24726.71 million during February 2017. In Rupee terms, exports were valued at Rs.166305.72 crore as compared to Rs.165855.64 crore during February 2017, registering a riseof 0.27 per cent.

During February 2018, major commodity groups of export showing positive growth over the corresponding month of last year are Petroleum Products (27.44%), Organic & Inorganic Chemicals (30.41%), Drugs & Pharmaceuticals (13.92%), Rice (21.29%) & Electronic Goods (29.71%).

Cumulative value of exports for the period April-February 2017-18 was US$273730.91 million (Rs1762897.63 crore) as against US $246550.17 million (Rs1656399.85 crore) registering a positive growth of 11.02per cent in Dollar terms and 6.43per cent in Rupee terms over the same period last year.

Non-petroleum and Non Gems & Jewellery exports in February 2018 were valued at US$ 18792.79 million as against US$ 18176.00 million in February 2017, an increase of 3.39%. Non-petroleum and Non Gems and Jewellery exports during April-February 2017-18 were valued at US$ 200030.96 million as compared to US$ 179457.88 million for the corresponding period in 2016-17, an increase of 11.46%.

IMPORTS

Imports during February 2018 were valued at US$ 37813.57 million (Rs243420.48 crore) which was 10.41 per cent higher in Dollar terms and 5.96 per cent higher in Rupee terms over the level of imports valued at US$ 34248.44 million (Rs. 229723.10 crore) in February 2017. Cumulative value of imports for the period April-February 2017-18 was US$ 416865.64 million (Rs. 2684600.75 crore) as against US$ 344408.90 million (Rs. 2314510.09 crore) registering a positive growth of 21.04per cent in Dollar terms and 15.99per cent in Rupee terms over the same period last year.

Major commodity groups of import showing high growth in February 2018 over the corresponding month of last year are Petroleum, Crude & products (32.05%), Electronic goods (18.95%), Machinery, electrical & non-electrical (23.04%), Pearls, precious & Semi-precious stones (15.86%) and Coal, Coke & Briquettes, etc. (17.73%).

CRUDE OIL AND NON-OIL IMPORTS:

Oil imports during February 2018 were valued at US$ 10194.33million which was 32.05percent higher than oil imports valued at US$ 7719.84 million in February 2017.Oil imports during April-February 2017-18 were valued at US$ 98002.25 million which was 26.92per cent higher than the oil imports of US$ 77213.52 million in the corresponding period last year.

In this connection it is mentioned that the global Brent prices ($/bbl) have increased by 17.90% in February 2018 vis-à-vis February 2017 as per World Bank commodity price data (The pink sheet).

Non-oil imports during February 2018 were estimated at US$ 27619.24 million which was 4.11per cent higher than non-oil imports of US$ 26528.60 million in February 2017.Non-oil imports during April-February 2017-18 were valued at US$ 318863.39 million which was 19.34per cent higher than the level of such imports valued at US$ 267195.38 million in April-February, 2016-17.

TRADE BALANCE

MERCHANDISE: The trade deficit for February 2018 was estimated at US$ 11979.21millionas against the deficit of US$ 9521.73million during February 2017.

SERVICES: As per RBI’s Press Release dated 15th March 2018, the trade balance in Services (i.e. net export of Services) for January,2018 was estimated at US$ 6,490 million.

OVERALL TRADE BALANCE:Taking merchandise and services together, overall trade deficit for April-February 2017-18 is estimated at US$ 85704.73million as compared to US$ 44381.73million during April-February2016-17. (Services data pertains to April-January2017-18 as January2018 is the latest data available as per RBI’s Press Release dated 15th March 2018).

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