Exports hit $51 billion in first 7 weeks of current fiscal
According to the latest data available with the government, India’s exports reached $50.7 billion during the first seven weeks of the fiscal year, 11% higher than the corresponding period in 2019-20. The initial weeks of the last financial year were washed out due to a strict country-wide lockdown in India, which coincided with a similar situation across large parts of the world.
But with Europe, the US and China opening up, this year is looking different. “Even in these weeks, when there were restrictions in several parts of the country, we have done well. It gives us optimism that the numbers for the full year will be much better this time,” a government source told TOI.
While exporters tend to agree, there is also a bit of concern over their sustainability. “There is growth, which is a feel-good factor. But we can’t rejoice unless it is sustainable,” said Sharad Kumar Saraf, president of lobby group Fieo, while attributing a part of the increase to higher realisation due to a spike in commodity prices as well as freight. “The anti-China sentiment in several countries has also helped Indian exporters,” he added. Others, however, appear more optimistic, although they complain of labour shortage holding them back.
“The demand is good, but the problem is manufacturing because some of our workers have gone back home. So, things may slow down a little in June and July, although April and May have been good,” said Colin Shah, chairman of the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council. Similarly, A Sakthivel, who leads the Apparel Export Promotion Council, says the current financial year promises to be better, although exporters are facing problems in Karnataka.