Global growth headwinds weigh on auto exports in July

As hawkish central banks globally impact exports, the auto sector is no exception. While overall July exports see marginal dip, two-wheelers bear the maximum brunt.

Global growth headwinds weigh on auto exports in July
India’s trade deficit widened further by $4 billion to a touch a new all-time high of $30 billion in July.

While the domestic auto sales are picking up supported by easing supply-side headwinds, the export side is not reflecting the same sentiment. There are signs that global growth headwinds are beginning to weigh on sentiment. The monthly export volumes across the automotive space see a marginal dip. On a year-on-year basis, exports for just July slipped 5 percent to 449,796 vehicles from 474,940 vehicles sold last July. Even a comparison of the April-July period in FY2023 indicates that exports are flat at 1,856,286 vehicles from 1,878,405 vehicles exported during the same period FY2022.

Two-wheeler exports under pressure

Two-wheelers are primary laggards, in terms of exports. While through FY2022, we saw how exports saved the blushes for the segment, the momentum seems to be cooling off even as domestic sales are picking up on good monsoon, improved financing and semiconductor supply easing.

Overall two-wheeler exports in July came in at 357,498 vehicles compared to 377,198 vehicles exported last July. This is clearly indicated by the trend seen from April to July this fiscal. 1,506,092 vehicles were exported during this period in FY2023 as compared to 1,514,373 vehicles exported between April-July, FY2022.

Hero MotoCorp saw a significant decline in exports. For July, its exports slipped a whopping 40 percent to 14,896 vehicles as compared to 25,190 units exported last July. Even if we compare the April-July period, exports in FY2023 were at 76,922 units, down almost 30 percent from 108,990 vehicles exported between April-July, FY2022.

Key two-wheeler exporter Bajaj Auto clocked at a 14 percent decline in its exports to 1,50,670 units compared to 1,74,337 units exported last July. If we compare from the beginning of FY2023, the two-wheeler major exported 683,410 vehicles, down 6.52 percent compared to 731,090 vehicles exported between April- July FY2022.

Incidentally, this trend ties in with the significant widening seen in India’s trade deficit during the same period. India’s trade deficit widened further by $4 billion to touch a new all-time high of $30 billion in July.

Read More: India’s export outlook weak, hawkish central banks may weigh on growth, demand; oil prices, gold imports key 

Passenger vehicle exports buck trend
However, the passenger vehicle exports offered a glimmer of hope. Exports for July were at 54,073 vehicles, up 3 percent from 52,319 exported last July. This is in continuation of the broad trend seen in the passenger vehicle segment. Exports between April-July FY2023 were at 214,336 vehicles, up nearly 20 percent from 179,402 vehicles exported between April-July, FY2022.

Market leader Maruti Suzuki India’s July exports were flat at 20,003 from 21,003 vehicles exported last July. For the April-July period, ist exports are at 88,990 vehicles, up 34.7 percent from 66,059 vehicles sold between April-July, FY2022.

Hyundai also reported higher exports in July, up 9.37 percent from the year-ago period to 13,351 units last July. Between April-July it exported 47,871 vehicles compared to 42,088 units exported in April-July, FY2022.

Three-wheeler exports also reflected the overall market trend. July exports slipped to 135,318 units from 182,579 exported in July, last year. Passenger carrier exports within this space took the maximum hit.

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