No reason to panic on export scenario: Commerce ministry

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New Delhi | December 23, 2015 12:47 AM

The country’s export scenario isn’t as bad as it looks on the surface. Barring oil, and gems and jewellery exports, where raw material prices have plunged drastically...

The country’s export scenario isn’t as bad as it looks on the surface. Barring oil, and gems and jewellery exports, where raw material prices have plunged drastically, driving down finished product rates, the fall in outbound shipment between April and November was just 9.7% in dollar terms and just 3.7% in rupee terms, the commerce ministry said on Tuesday.

When the export figure in rupees terms is compared with the average WPI inflation rate of -3.3% during the April-November period, the fall in exports in real terms is likely to be negligible, the ministry said in a statement.

According to the official data released last week, overall merchandise exports dropped 18.5% during the April-November period from a year before. However, while exports of petroleum product have fallen by 52%, those of gems and jewellery dropped 9.5% due to a plunge in gold prices compared with last year.

Although several sectors have shown declines, some such as ready-made garments, carpets, handicrafts, jute manufacturing, drugs and pharmaceuticals, ceramic products & glassware, tea, cereal preparations and miscellaneous processed items have witnessed a rise.

Even industrial production rose 4.8% during the April-October period from a year before, more than double the growth of 2.2% recorded a year before.

This suggests the country isn’t doing as bad as it may seem to be.  “The fall in exports has to be viewed in the context of sluggish global trade volumes. If the drop in export is resulting in increased current account deficit or/and reduction in growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) then there could be a need for alarm,” it said.

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