Recessionary trends in key global markets will have an impact on merchandise exports from India in the coming months. “The demand scenario is not looking good for the next two to three months,” a commerce ministry official said.

The comments have come at a time when India’s merchandise exports fell 12.6% to $34.66 billion in April 2023 from $39.70 billion in April 2022. The fall in exports during April was led by petroleum products, gems and jewellery, organic chemicals, and textiles.

The official said that going ahead, reduced demand in the US and Europe for gems and jewellery, along with a cooling down of prices of commodities like petroleum products, coal etc., and lower demand for apparels and some engineering goods will have an impact on Indian commodity exports. “Hopefully from September onwards it will change as WTO’s revised trade growth estimates indicate,” he said. The WTO revised the growth of global trade on the expectation that the opening up of the Chinese economy and a boost in demand in the US and EU markets will revive trade.

The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), however, said that India started the new financial year on a positive note as merchandise and services exports combined had shown a 2% year-on-year growth in April 2023. “With the expectations that the US economy would soon start showing signs of improvement and Chinese exports already showing a growth of 8.5 in April, 2023, we hope to continue with this growth trajectory. We further hope that exports will start showing better growth numbers starting July, 2023, as things are expected to improve from Q3 of the Calendar year, with fresh orders or order bookings for festival and New Year season beginning to come,” A Sakthivel, president FIEO said.

Under merchandise exports, 11 of the 30 key sectors had exhibited positive growth in April 2023 as compared to the same period last year (April 2022). These include oil meals (95.14%), electronic goods (26.49%), rice (24.01%), oil seeds (18.01%), ceramic products & glassware (17.21%), spices (14.44%), drugs & pharmaceuticals (10.45%), fruits & vegetables (9.96%), tobacco (6.28%), coffee (4.17%) and cereal preparations & miscellaneous processed items (2.03%), a commerce ministry statement said.

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