NEW DELHI: Amid slowing global merchandise trade growth, India’s exports are likely to register an all-time high of $330 billion this fiscal. “The growth is propelled by higher exports of pharmaceuticals, petroleum and engineering,” said an official aware of the details.
India’s total outward shipments were $303.5 billion in 2017-18. The all-time high is $314.4 billion posted in 2013-14.
March exports are expected to be above $30 billion, buoyed by strong performances by engineering and pharmaceuticals sectors. Services exports are likely to cross $200 billion in FY19, taking overall exports to over $500 billion.
Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu is confident of India’s exports touching new heights this year. “This happened because we had our sectoral strategy, an institutional mechanism... a product-geography matrix,” he told ET in an interview.
As per official data, India’s overall exports (merchandise and services) in April-February 2018-19 were estimated to be $483.98 billion, exhibiting a growth of 8.73% over the year-ago period.
Exports have been hit by the muted growth of traditional exports such as gems and jewellery, farm and engineering as well as liquidity crunch stemming from the goods and services tax, and global factors.
The healthy growth in exports comes at a time when the World Trade Organization has cut global trade forecast to 2.6% in 2019 from 3% in 2018.
“World trade will continue to face strong headwinds in 2019 and 2020 after growing more slowly than expected in 2018 due to rising trade tensions and increased economic uncertainty,” WTO said. The multilateral trade watchdog attributed slow trade growth in 2018 to new tariffs and retaliatory measures affecting widely-traded goods, weaker global growth, volatility in financial markets and tighter monetary conditions in developed countries, among others.