Merchandise exports may hit $300b

Tags: News

FY13 volume will be less than that of FY12, ministry still hopeful of meeting target

India’s merchandise exports may just touch $300 billion mark this year. If that happens, it would be second time in a short span of three years, when cumulative exports for any financial year would be less than the preceding year.

Merchandise exports contracted for the first time in 2009-10 by 3.5 per cent to $178.7 billion vis-à-vis $185.2 billion in the preceding year on the back of the worst financial crisis.

The cumulative exports so far this year between April-November stood at $189.2 billion. With just four months to go, and assuming that exports each month is anywhere between $25-$28 billion that has happened only twice so far this year, we would end up with cumulative exports of just around $300 billion. This would be less than cumulative exports of $304.6 billion in 2011-12.

Highest exports from India happened in March 2010-11 at $ 30.4 billion followed by exports of $28.2 billion in March last financial year, $26.5 billion in May, June and September 2011-12 and 26.3 billion in July last year. The highest exports so far this year have been $25.7 billion in May and $25.1 billion in June.

Though statistics speak for themselves, commerce ministry is unwilling to lower the export target of $360 billion this year. On the contrary, commerce secretary, SR Rao, is still hopeful of achieving this target and is betting big on the handful of fresh incentives that the ministry is expected to dole out to exporters by end of this week.

This optimism, with hardly any base, is unlikely to help exporters surpass the level of last year because reaching the $360 billion mark would require monthly exports of over $40 billion in the next four months.

Even the Federation of India Exports Organisation has revised down the export target for this year, and hopes to be anywhere between $300-320 billion. “The target of $360 billion for 2012-13 is likely to elude. Though, we are projecting it to be anywhere between $300-320 billion, we feel exports would be on the lower side as there is virtually no improvement in demand in the EU though markets in the US seems to have stabilised,” Rafeeque Ahmed, president of Fieo told Financial Chronicle.

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