The slowdown in global growth has hit India’s exports. In FY15, India registered $310.5 billion of goods shipment, down 1.2% from $314.4 billion the year before, and far lower than the government’s $340 billion target. Despite the depreciation in the rupee—from 60.5 to a dollar in FY14 to 61.1 in FY15—India’s merchandise trade could not get the edge.
Imports, too, declined to $447.5 billion in FY15 from $450 billion in FY14, thanks to the over 16% drop in the oil import bill as crude prices crashed globally. Gold imports were up 22% year-on-year as quantitative restrictions on the metal’s imports were lifted by November last year. Non-oil, non-gold imports picked up 7% in FY15, reflecting stronger domestic demand of goods.
In terms of the country’s export destinations, the slowdown was more visible in Asian nations such as China (minus 19%) and Singapore (minus 20%), while exports to the US and the UAE were stronger. Interestingly, India’s engineering goods exports increased 14%, which is a positive development given the fact that the Modi-government’s focus is on the manufacturing sector for job creation through its Make-in-India initiative.