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Exports Reviving, May Be In Positive Territory In FY22: Comm Secy

The country's exports to China in 2019-20 were at USD 16.6 billion and USD 21.2 billion in 2020-21. Imports from China were worth USD 65 billion in 2019-20 while the numbers were roughly the same for 2020-21.

Photo Credit :

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The country's exports are reviving and the shipments are expected to be in the 'solid' positive territory in this financial year, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan said on Tuesday.

He said that exports recorded a significant contraction in April last year but gradually things started improving and the shipments have entered the positive territory.

'So, I am quite positive and hopeful that in 2021-22, we will be in solid positive territory. I have no doubts about that. But I do not want to predict numbers and make any targeted projections,' the secretary told reporters.

Since December 2020, the country's merchandise exports are recording positive growth. In March this year, the exports rose by 60.29 per cent to USD 34.45 billion. However in 2020-21, the shipments dipped by 7.26 per cent to USD 290.63 billion.

Product categories that recorded positive growth during March include oilmeals, iron ore, carpet, gems and jewellery, engineering goods, rice, spices, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, marine products, petroleum products, coffee , and tea. Gems and jewellery is a luxury product, and its demand would also slowly pick up, Wadhawan said, adding that exports are recovering from the severe COVID-19 impact.

He added that exporters have shown resilience and have covered a lot of the lost ground, after hit by Covid-19 pandemic.

Wadhawan also said the cumulative value of overall exports (merchandise and services) during April-March 2020-21 has been estimated at USD 493.19 billion compared to USD 528.37 billion in 2019-20, registering a negative growth of 6.66 per cent.

According to the commerce ministry, the COVID-19 period has revealed new opportunities for Indian food sector.

'There is a rise in demand in the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Palestine and Egypt. Enquires for fresh/ dehydrated garlic, spices (chilli, turmeric, ginger), seed spices (cumin, fennel), sesame seeds/oil, sugar (new demand from Sri Lanka) and groundnut have been received by the exporters,' it said.

The demand for non-basmati rice from new buyers such as Malaysia and the Philippines is likely to boost exports in the coming months, it added.

When asked about India's trade gap with the US and China, the secretary said that trade surplus with the US and deficit with China has improved in 2020-21. India's exports to the US stood at USD 53 billion in 2019-20 and USD 51 billion in 2020-21. Imports from the US aggregated at USD 35.8 billion in 2019-20 as compared to USD 28 billion in 2020-21.

The country's exports to China in 2019-20 were at USD 16.6 billion and USD 21.2 billion in 2020-21. Imports from China were worth USD 65 billion in 2019-20 while the numbers were roughly the same for 2020-21.

When asked about the timeline for notification of rates under the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme for exports, the commerce secretary said: 'in the very very near future'.

The government had approved the scheme in March 2020 for reimbursement of taxes and duties to exporters, with a view to giving a boost to the country's exports.

He also said steps have been taken so that export activities do not get hampered due to restrictions imposed by different states to control coronavirus cases.

Talking about Maharashtra, he said special arrangements have been made export consignment clearance at ports happen with skeletal staff.

Special Secretary (Logistics) Pawan Agarwal expressed hope that the proposed national logistics policy would be put in place 'very soon'. 

(PTI)


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imports exports china commerce secretary Anup Wadhawan