17 out of 30 sectors see export slide in January
Exports of over half of the sectors, out of the 30 closely monitored by the Commerce Ministry, were in the negative zone in January due to a fall in global prices and demand. Outbound shipments of as many as 17 sectors, including petroleum products, engineering and leather, dipped last month, according to the ministry data.
Exporters' body FIEO said the government should announce incentives in the Budget to boost the shipments. "Inverted duty structure in respect of various items may be given due consideration in the Budget as it not only effects exports but also the manufacturing sector," Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President S C Ralhan said. India's exports declined 13.6 per cent in January to $21 billion. The continuous decline in exports is expected to impact jobs and put pressure on the current account deficit. During the month, top two sectors -- engineering and petroleum products -- contracted 27.6 per cent and 35.18 per cent, respectively in January. These sectors make up about 42 per cent of the country's total exports in 2014-15, when it stood at $310.5 billion.
Agri-products, which constitute over 10 per cent of the country's total shipments, too recorded a negative growth during the month under review. Overall, eight out of 13 main agriculture products slipped into negative territory.
Exports of rice, cashew and oil meals fell 33.46 per cent, 24.6 per cent and 77.5 per cent, respectively. Decline in these exports has been instrumental in dragging down India's overall merchandise exports. Due to continuous dip, the total merchandise shipments are expected to reach a figure of $270 billion in 2015-16.
India has aimed at taking exports of goods and services to $900 billion by 2020 and raising the country's share in world exports to 3.5 per cent from 2 per cent.