India’s merchandise exports continued their growth trajectory with April figures scaling a new high by crossing $40 billion, a 30% increase over April 2021. The increase in value was led by a 127.69% growth in petroleum products, 71.69% growth in electronic goods, followed by cereals (60.83%), coffee (59.38%), processed food (38.82%) and leather products (36.68%) exports. Services also performed extremely well to reach $27.60 billion, an increase of 53% over April 2021, say commerce ministry estimates.

Merchandise imports showed a similar trend in April 2022. The imports stood at $60.3 billion, an increase of 30.97% over imports of $46.04 billion in April 2021. The merchandise trade deficit in April 2022 was estimated at $20.11 billion as against $15.29 billion in April 2021, an increase of 31.5%.

“The highest-ever exports of over $40 billion during the first month of the fiscal year shows the impressive performance of the exports sector. The outstanding accomplishments of the exporters have consistently not only helped the economy to reap rich dividends but will also support our endeavour to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025. Starting the fiscal with such an impressive beginning will further add to the motivation of the exporting community for much higher growth during the financial year," says A. Sakthivel, president, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO).

The FIEO president says that labour-intensive sectors also contributed to the exports basket, which itself is a good sign, further helping job creation in the country. He hopes that the the benefits of the newly signed FTAs and the PLI scheme will further help Indian exporters in building on the milestones achieved during the previous fiscal.

Shaktivel is also of the view that though the government has announced a slew of measures to support exports including the recent announcement of the extension of the interest equalisation scheme, extension of the FTP 2015-20 by another 6 months and extension of time for filing of MEIS/RoSCTL/ROSL scrip, there is a need to rationalise exports of raw materials to push value added exports, augment container manufacturing, and develop an Indian shipping line of global repute.

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