India’s export growth may slow to 7% in FY19 : 06-02-2019

The government expects India’s merchandise exports to grow 7.3% to $325 billion in 2018-19, lower than 9.8% clocked in 2017-18 on the back of muted growth of traditional exports such as gems and jewellery, farm and engineering, liquidity crunch, and global factors.

“Many sectors including marine, agriculture, gems & jewellery are doing poorly. Engineering exports have been impacted due to expensive domestic steel and rubber,” said an official who attended a meeting that the commerce department had with exporters and export promotion councils on Tuesday in the wake of slowing growth of various exporting sectors.

India’s exports were $303 billion in 2017-18.

As per an official statement, the meeting was held to “discuss various issues being faced by exporters and examine ways by which India’s merchandise exports may reach $325 billion by March 2019”.

“Our merchandise exports have been growing since 2016-17 for almost three years and are likely to reach a new peak in 2018-19,” the department said in the statement

In the April to December period of 2018-19, merchandise exports have grown by about 10% on year.

“Liquidity is the biggest concern of exporters along with their money being blocked due to Goods and ServicesNSE 0.44 % Tax. Moreover, with China frontloading its exports recently and the US showdown that eroded consumer confidence, Indian exporters have been adversely impacted,” said another person who attended the meeting.

Declining exports of labour intensive products including leather, gems and jewellery, man-made yarn, and pharmaceuticals had pulled down the overall growth of outward shipments from the country in December to 0.34% at $27.9 billion. 17 out of 30 sectors had showed a decline in exports in December.

“This target may not be easy but it is doable. However, the global slowdown and weakening commodity prices will play out,” the person said.

India recorded growth of 13.31% in overall exports (merchandise and services combined) in 2017-18 over the same period last year. Overall exports were $498.61 billion in 2017-18 of which $303.53 billion was from merchandise exports.

Source : Economic Times