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July exports continue to surge as global orders remain strong, rise 47.9% Y-o-Y

The headline numbers jumped high due to a rise in global orders, strong commodity prices and low base, as trade had crashed in 2020 when the COVID-induced lockdown was in full swing. But citing a 34 percent growth after comparing with July, 2019, the government has expressed confidence that exports are well on their way towards recovery.

August 02, 2021 / 07:45 PM IST
Representational Image (Reuters)

Representational Image (Reuters)

Owing to an uptick in global orders, India's merchandise exports shot up in July, rising by a major 47.9 percent as compared to July, 2020. Impressively, exports also rose by 34.06 percent as compared to July, 2019, before the pandemic struck.

Data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry on August 2 showed outbound trade rose to $35.17 billion in July, up from $23.78 billion in July, 2020. Cumulatively, exports have grown by 73.86 percent to $130.56 billion in the April-July period of FY22 (2021-22) as compared to the same period of 2o20. Compared to 2019, exports have gone up by 21.85 percent over same period ($ 107.15 billion), the Ministry said.

Official statistics show exports of processed petroleum saw the biggest growth in July as exports more than doubled. With a 215 percent growth, petroleum exports helped earn $3.8 billion more in July. This was followed by $2.8 billion more worth of engineering goods which rose 42 percent and $1.9 billion more worth of gems and jewellery which rose by 130 percent.

Other major export segments such as electronics, textiles and pharma also saw major growth in July. Exporters say there has been a continued revival not only in the order booking positions but also in the demand from across the globe.

"This is the highest-ever exports recorded at least in the previous 9 years as per the data readily available with FIEO. It also is a sign that global trade is recovering fast," A Sakthivel, President of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations said. He emphasised that many  labour-intensive sectors were the main contributors, which itself is a good sign, further helping job creation in the country.


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After a difficult FY21 (2020-21), exports had began rising since December. In February, before the low base effect kicked in, growth was a marginal 0.67 percent. Since then, calculated annually(Y-o-Y), exports had risen by 48.3 percent in June, 69.7 percent in May and 193.63 percent in April, due to the low base effect which is now slowly wearing off.

Till now, the rise has been, atleast partly due to the extremely low volume of trade beginning in March last year when the nationwide lockdown had been imposed. Trade had been among the first industries to be hit in the initial days of the pandemic, after a nationwide lockdown was announced on March 23. However, the impact of lockdown in other nations also impacted trade had already begun, thus adversely affecting shipping flows even before that.

Imports also rise

In July, imports saw an equally large rise, going up by a huge 46.4 percent to $59.38 billion. Similar to exports, as the low base wears off, the jumps in import growth have moderated. Imports had risen by 98.3 percent in June, 73.6 percent in May and 163 percent in April.

In the latest month, gold imports saw the second highest rise (135 percent). The largest part of the import bill - petroleum and crude oil - saw imports nearly double.
Subhayan Chakraborty has been regularly reporting on international trade, foreign policy, and evolving industry and government issues for the past 6 years.
first published: Aug 2, 2021 07:45 pm

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