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Last updated: 07 Dec, 2020  

Exports.9.Thmb.jpg Exports outlook

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Bikky Khosla | 07 Dec, 2020

Exports fell 9.07 percent to $23.43 billion from $25.77 billion in November 2019, according to official figures released last week. The Commerce Ministry – on the basis of preliminary data – added that total overseas shipments during April-November 2020-21 stood at $173.49 billion, as compared to $211.17 billion during the same period last year, exhibiting a negative growth of 17.84 percent. This data does not tell the whole story, however.

While the fall in exports in November can be attributed to supply side disruptions, including restricted container movement and declining petroleum exports due to its crashing prices, with farmers’ agitation further affecting the sector, in contrast, it is encouraging to see that factors –like gradual lifting of lockdowns, both across the country and around the globe, and expectations of arrival of Covid-19 vaccine – are likely to improve the situation in coming months.

This, however, neither imply that the sector is out of the woods. According to FIEO, although exporters, these days, have continuously been receiving a lot of enquiries and orders, there are some key issues – availability of containers, introduction of RoDTEP across all sectors, introduction of NIRVIK scheme, creation of a fund for marketing of Brand India products and various other customs and port clearance-related infrastructure bottlenecks – which need to be urgently addressed.

Meanwhile, the RBI late last week retained the repo rate – or short-term lending rate for commercial banks – at 4 percent. Also, it maintained the growth-oriented accommodative stance, thus opening up possibilities for more rate cuts in near future. Additionally, the central bank also announced External Trade Facilitation measures which will provide a great relief to exporters whose bills are pending in EDPMS. This will save the transaction time of exporters as well.

I invite your opinions.

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