India’s merchandise exports steady at $33 billion in August

Exports will exceed $750bn a conservative estimate amid global headwinds, Commerce Secretary says

Exports will exceed $750bn a conservative estimate amid global headwinds, Commerce Secretary says

In a press briefing, Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam on September 3, 2022 said that merchandise exports for the month of August are stable at $33 billion, the same level as last year .

Subrahmanyam said services exports reached $95 billion in the first four months of 2022-23, $26 billion more than last year and would break records this year.

The Commerce Secretary said “Indian exports are holding up amid global headwinds and will exceed $750 billion this year at a conservative estimate.”

Mr. Subrahmanyam said: “Exports of services will exceed $300 billion and exports of goods will exceed $450 billion on the lower bound. Our own estimate is $470 billion for the year.”

He said some sectors saw phenomenal results in August, such as electronics, up 50%, rice up 42% and chemicals up 14%.

He further said, “There are concerns about Christmas orders. Exporter order books are full, but there are instances where buyers are asking for shipments not to be shipped.”

Mr. Subrahmanyam said: “What is the reason for the stagnant export growth? To control inflation, we have imposed some restrictions. Wheat has almost entered the negative list, steel and iron pellets have also been subject to this type of restriction on exports. . iron ore was restricted last year.”

The Commerce Secretary said: “Imports in August were $61.68 billion, up 37% from a year ago. Over the five months of the year, imports were up at $318 billion.”

He said that “coal and oil imports are driving the rise in imports, but the overall increase in imports is a sign of healthy demand in the economy, as 25% of our imports are consumer goods, while 75% are raw materials, etc.”

Mr Subrahmanyam said: “If you look at it as a whole, the trade deficit for the whole year is expected to be $160-180 billion. With remittances at $90 billion, we expect the current account deficit will be around 3% of GDP, which is not bad but we have to be careful, but the main concern now is inflation and measures to curb rising prices will lead to challenges on the export and import front.

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

He added that “gold imports fell 47% in August to $3.5 billion from $6.7 billion a year ago. For the full year so far, gold imports are down 12.84%, reflecting the effectiveness of government measures to limit gold imports. A part of gold imports is of course intended for jewelry which is re-exported”

Mr. Subrahmanyam concluded: “In the worst case, merchandise exports will be $450 billion. we would like the trend of sluggish exports to change, and measures to boost exports will be taken. India will also unveil a new foreign trade policy on September 30 which is expected to boost exports.