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3.      TRENDS IN INDIA'S FOREIGN TRADE

 

After witnessing an impressive growth during the year 2002-03, export growth continued to maintain momentum during the year 2003 04. According to provisional data available for April-March 2003-04, exports stood at Rs.283605 crores  ( US $ 61845 million) as against Rs. 255137 crores ( US $ 52742 million) in the corresponding period of last year, recording a growth of 11.16% in Rupee terms and 17.26 % in Dollar terms . Imports also witnessed a robust growth of 19.01%, having increased to Rs. 346474 crores ( US $ 75209 million) from Rs. 291133 crores ( US $ 60189 million )during April to March, 2003-04. The trade deficit during April-March 2003-04 is estimated to have widened to Rs.62870 crores ( $ 13364 million) from Rs. 35996 crores ($ 7447million)during the corresponding period of the previous year. The aggregate foreign trade data in Rupee terms and Dollar terms for the period April to March, 2002-03 as well as April to March 2003-04 are given in Table 1(a) and 1(b) respectively.

TRENDS IN EXPORTS

The details regarding India's export of principal products/groups during, 2001-02 ,2002-03 and April to December, 2002-2003 and April to December, 2003-2004 are given in Table II.

During April - December, 2003-2004, commodities/commodity groups registering significant increase in exports over the corresponding period of the previous Details of India's Foreign Trade

(Value in Rs. Crore)  

 

year included Tea, Coffee, Wheat, Seasame & Niger Seeds Groundnuts, Oilmeals, Guargum Meals, Shellac, Floriculture Products, Processed Foods, Mica, Coal, Gems & Jewellery, Sports Goods, Chemicals & Allied Products (except Residual Chemicals), Engineering Goods, Electronic Goods, Manmade Textiles, Made Ups etc., Jute Manufactures, Hand Made Carpets (excluding Silk), Cotton Raw including waste and Petroleum Products. Major commodities registering a decline in exports were Rice, Tobacco, Spices, Nuts & Seeds, Marine Products, Iron Ore, processed Minerals, Residual Chemicals and Allied Products, Project Goods, Readymade Garments, Cotton Yarn Fabrics Made ups, etc., Wool & Woolen Manufactures, Coir, Handicrafts and Carpets.

The export performance of some principal commodity groups during the period April to December, 2003-2004 are given below :

Plantation Crops

Export of Plantation Crops increased by 6.7% in Rupee terms during the first 9 months of 2003-2004 compared with the corresponding period of the previous year. The increase in the export of Plantation Crops was mainly due to reasonably good performance of Tea and Coffee. Export of Tea increased by 6.7% from Rs. 1137 crores during the first 9 months of last year to Rs. 1211 crores during the same period in the current year. Exports of Coffee also increased from Rs. 710 crores last year to Rs. 761 crores this year registering a growth of 7.2%.

Agriculture and Allied Products

Agriculture and Allied Products comprises a wide variety of agricultural products covering Cereals, Pulses, Tobacco, Spices, Nuts and Seeds, Oil Meals, Guargum Meals, Castor Oil, Shellac, Sugar and Molasses, Processed Food, Meat and Meat Products, etc. During April to December 2003-2004, the exports of this group recorded a decline of 4.5% from Rs. 16435 crores in the previous year to Rs. 15691 crores during the current year. Cereals (except Rice) Groundnuts, Guargum Meals, Shellac, Processed Food & Spirit & Beverages registered growth in exports.

INDIA'S EXPORTS OF PRINCIPAL COMMODITIES

(Value in Rs. Crore)

 

Marine products

The exports of Marine Products stood at Rs. 4785 crores during April to December, 2003-2004 , recording a decline of 11.7% over Rs. 4785 crores during April- December, 2002-2003 . The USA, EU and Japan continued to be the major destination of marine exports from India.

Ores and Minerals

Traditional export items like Iron Ore, Manganese Ore, Chrome Ore, Aluminum, Mica and Coal are included in this product group. Exports of Ores and Minerals were estimated at Rs.6644 crores during this period recording a decline of 7.2% over the same period of last year. While exports of Mica, Other Ores & Minerals and Coal recorded a growth of 77.4%, 6.7% and 9.6% respectively, Iron Ore and Processed Minerals dipped by 16.8% and 7.5% respectively.

Leather and Leather Manufactures

Exports of Leather and Leather Manufactures registered a fall of 2.2% from Rs.6808 crores during April to December, 2002-2003 to Rs. 6661 crores during April to December, 2003-2004. Exports of Leather Footwear increased by 0.7% during April to December, 2003-2004 as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. Exports of Leather and Manufactures also declined by 3.4% during the same period.

Gems and Jewellery

The export of Gems and Jewellery during April to December, 2003-2004 stood at Rs. 35975 crores as compared to Rs.31745 crores during the corresponding period of last year, showing a modest growth of 13.3%.

Chemicals and Allied Products

Exports of Chemicals and Allied Products registered a growth of 12.6% during April to December, 2003-2004 over the same period of the previous year in Rupee terms. Three out of the four sub-groups under this head viz. Basic Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals & Cosmetics, Plastics & Linoleum, Rubber, Glass & Other Products have registered positive growth during April to December, 2003-2004 as compared to the corresponding period of previous year. However, Residual Chemicals and Allied Products showed a negative export growth of 8.0%.

Engineering Goods

Export of items under this group comprising Manufactures of Metals, Machinery and Instruments, Primary and Semi-finished Iron & Steel and Transport Equipment, showed a commendable growth as compared to most of the sectors. Exports of Engineering Goods amounted to Rs. 32980 crores during April to December, 2003-2004 as against Rs. 26356 crores during April to December, 2002-2003 showing an impressive growth of 25.1%.

Electronic goods

Exports of Electronic Goods during the first 9 months  of the current year were estimated at Rs. 5641 crores as compared to Rs.4455 crores during April to December, 2002-2003, thus recording a growth of 26.6%.

Textiles and handicrafts

The total value of Indian textiles exports during April to December, 2003-2004 went down to Rs. 36752 crores from Rs.39097 crores during the corresponding period of previous year showing a decline of 6%. Jute Manufactures (17.2%), Natural Silk Textiles (6.3%), Man-made Textiles, Made ups, etc., (16.5%) and Wool and Woollen Manufactures (6.0%) recorded a positive growth. Other sub-groups viz. Readymade Garments (7.3%), Cotton Yarn, Fabrics, Made ups, etc., (15.4%), and Coir & Coir Manufactures (8.9%) showed negative trends.

The main items of exports of Handicrafts are various types of works of art, such as Metal Artware, Textiles (hand printed), Woodwares and Zari goods. Exports of Handicrafts dipped to Rs. 1367 crores during April to December, 2003-2004 from Rs.2504 crores during the corresponding period of the last year registering a fall of 51.3%. Export of Carpets decreased during April to December, 2003-2004 to Rs. 1870 crores from Rs. 1933 crores during April to December, 2002-2003 registering a decline of 3.3%.

TRENDS IN INDIA'S IMPORTS

The trends in India's imports for the entire year 2002- 2003 and from April to December 2003-2004 as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year are reflected in Table-III.

Import of items under bulk category as a whole comprising inter-alia Fertilizers, Cereals, Sugar, Edible Oil, Iron and Steel and Petroleum Crude and Products recorded a substantial increase during April to December, 2003-2004 compared with the corresponding period of the previous year. It is notable that the commodity group recording the highest growth in imports was Machinery.

As far as import of individual items is concerned, significant growth was registered by Paper Board and Manufactures (47.59%) followed by Iron & Steel (43.76%), Crude Rubber including Synthetic (43.31%), Edible Oil (36.71%), Non-ferrous Metals (33.07%), News Print (29.72%), Fertilizer (15.60%) Pulp & Paper Waste (13.76%), Metalliferrous Ore & Scrap (11.66%) and Petroleum Crude and Products (4.44%).

Import of some items during this period registered a fall. These included Crude Fertilizer (25.55%). Import of Rice & Wheat came down to nil during the period under review.

Import by major product categories :

Fertilizers

During the first 9 months of 2003-2004 the total import of Fertilizers increased to Rs. 2742 crores from

INDIA'S IMPOTRS OF PRINCIPAL COMMODITIES

(Value in Rs. Crore)

 

Rs. 2372 crores in the corresponding period of last year recording an increase of 15.60%. However import of Crude Fertilizer decreased by 25.55%.

Petroleum Crude & Products

The import of Petroleum Crude & Products was valued at Rs. 67920 crores during April-December 2003-2004 as against Rs. 62059 crores during April to December , 2002-2003 showing a growth of 9.44%.

Pearls, Precious and Semi-Precious Stones

Import of Pearls and Precious and Semi-precious Stones increased by 5.55% to Rs. 23109 crores during April to December, 2003-2004 as compared to Rs. 21893 crores during the corresponding period of the previous year.

Capital Goods

Import of Capital Goods, largely represented by machinery, including Transport Equipment as well as Project Goods recorded a notable increase during April to December, 2003-2004 over the same period of last year. Machine Tools segment saw a significant rise of 64.03% in imports. Import of Project Goods, however, decreased from Rs. 1807 crores in April to December , 2002-2003 to Rs. 1221 crores in April to December, 2003-2004 registering a fall of 32.43%. Other items that showed positive import growth were Transport Equipments (62.06%) Non-Electrical Machinery (24.17%) , Electric Machinery (19.34%), and Professional Instruments (1.56%).

Chemicals and Chemical Materials

Organic and Inorganic Chemical Materials and Medicinal and Pharmaceuticals Products constituted the major components of imports under this category. The imports of organic and inorganic chemicals increased to Rs. 13149 crores during April to December , 2003-2004 from Rs. 10794 crores during April to December, 2002-2003, registering a growth of 21.82%. Import of medicinal and pharmaceutical products marginally declined to Rs. 2073 crores during April to December, 2003-2004 from Rs.2087 crores during the corresponding period of last year registering a fall of 0.67%.

DIRECTION OF INDIA'S FOREIGN TRADE

The value of India's exports to and import from major regions/countries are given in Appendix V and Appendix VI respectively. During the first 9 months of the current fiscal, Asia and Oceania region comprising South Asian, East Asian, Mid-eastern and Gulf countries accounted for nearly 45.72% of India's total exports. Share of West Europe and America in our exports stood at 23.7% and 21.9% respectively. In fact the share of Asia and Oceania in India's exports during April-Dec 2003-04 has increased compared to the share last year, as also the shares of regions like Africa, EU and East Europe. On the contrary shares of North America, South America and Caribbean countries in India's total export showed a decline during this period.

As far as individual countries are concerned, USA, with a share of 18.75% of our exports, remained the most important export destination during April-Dec 2003-04, followed by United Arab Emirates (7.46%), Hong Kong (5.43%), UK (4.81%) and Germany (3.92%).

In the case of import also, share of Asia and Oceania in India's total import was highest at 33.65% during April-Dec 2003-04, followed by West Europe (23.82%) and America (9.03%). Coming to individual countries, the share of USA in our imports stood at 6.57% followed by Belgium (4.23%), UK (4.03%) and Germany (3.83%).

The trends in India's export to and import from different regions are given in Table IV and V respectively. During April to December , 2003-2004 Asia Oceania accounted for the highest growth in India's export at 16.4% over the corresponding period of the previous year followed by West Europe (10.7%), Africa (8.8%), East Europe (7.2%). The entire America region registered negative growth of 4.5%.

During the first 9 months of 2003-2004 , India's imports from the Asia and Oceania region was valued at Rs.86158 crores which was 37.68% higher over the imports in the same period last year. Substantial imports were also accounted for by regions like West Europe (Rs. 60978 crores), America (Rs.23112 crores) and Africa (Rs.11627 crores).

Import of sensitive items

The total of 300 sensitive tariff lines for the period  April-December 2003 has been Rs 13,541 crore as compared to Rs 10,329 crore during the corresponding period of last year thereby showing a growth of 31%. The gross import of all commodities during same period of current year was Rs 2,55,397 crore as compared to Rs 2,14,262 crore during the same period of last year. Thus import of 300 sensitive items constitute only 4.8% and 5.3% of the gross imports during last year and current year respectively. The major item that has contributed significantly to the growth is Crude Palm Oil and its fractions.

Import of Spices and Tea & Coffee have shown a decline at broad group level during the period. Import of Edible Oil, Cotton & Silk, Fruits & Vegetables, Automobiles, Rubber, Milk & Milk Products, Alcholic Beverages, SSI and other products have shown increase during the period under reference.

In the Edible Oil sector, the import has increased from Rs 6,459 crores last year to Rs 8,954 crores for the corresponding period of this year. However, significant feature of Edible Oil import is that although import of Crude Oil have gone up by 30%, that of Refined Palm Oil & Palmolein have increased by 89% but percentage share of crude to the total edible oil remains as high as 80% indicating a better utilization of the processing capacity in the country. Imports of Soya Bean Crude Oil, Kernail / Babasu Crude Oil and Sunflower Crude Oil have also gone up marginally.

Imports of sensitive items from Indonesia, Malaysia, Argentina, USA, Egypt, Thailand, Mali, Greece, Guinea Bisu, Cote D' Ivoire, Benin & Korea RP etc. have gone up while those from Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, Switzerland & Australia etc. have shown some decrease.

 

 

 

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