India’s merchandise exports hit the ambitious target of $400 billion for FY22 nine days before the fiscal year is set to end, according to commerce ministry data. Goods exports will exceed the $30-billion mark for a 12th straight month in March, according to official sources.
This marks a smart recovery in exports, which had contracted almost 7% in FY21 from a year before to $292 billion, in the wake of the Covid outbreak. However, global demand for goods improved dramatically this fiscal following an industrial resurgence in advanced economies, brightening prospects of Indian exports.
Of course, the Ukraine crisis has now posed risks for exporters, as global supply chains remain tangled. However, it has also created opportunities for Indian suppliers of wheat (Russia and Ukraine are large exporters of the grain) and some other farm commodities in the export market.
Importantly, merchandise exports had remained below par in the past decade, having fluctuated between $250 billion and $330 billion a year since FY11; the highest export of $330 billion was achieved in FY19. So, a sustained surge in exports for a few years will be crucial to India recapturing its lost market share, analysts have said.
Earlier this month, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal had exuded confidence that outbound shipments in the current fiscal could the target and might even touch $410 billion.
Similarly, services exports, too, may exceed the target of $250 billion this fiscal, the minister had said, adding that his ministry had to revise the targets for FY22 twice from the initial goal of $225 billion in the wake of buoyant growth. Services exports were to the tune of $206 billion in FY21.
Merchandise exports until February were up 46% from a year before to $374.8 billion, supported by a contracted base.