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TRENDS IN INDIA'S FOREIGN TRADE

Trade Performance

Exports crossed the landmark figure of US $ 100 billion to reach US $ 103 billion during 2005-06. During the current year 2006-07 exports are expected to reach the target of US $ 125 billion if the present rate of growth of exports is maintained during the last quarter of the year. The sustained growth of merchandise exports at more than 20 per cent during the last few years is more than twice the growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). If this trend continues the export target of US $ 150 billion set in the Foreign Trade Policy for 2009 is likely to be achieved quite comfortably as can be seenat Box 2.1.

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The growth performance of exports has been an outcome of a conscious and concerted effort on the part of the Government to bring down transaction costs and facilitate trade. The vision and the roadmap provided by the Foreign Trade Policy (2004-09) for a five year period with clearly enunciated objectives, strategies and policy initiatives has been instrumental in putting exports on a higher growth trajectory.
The export target during 2004-05 at around US $ 75 billion was sought to be doubled to US $ 150 billion by the terminal year of the Foreign Trade Policy, i.e. 2008-09. For the first time in the history of planning doubling of exports in less than five years is being seen as an achievable target. What is even more significant is that exports have been conceived of as an engine for generating additional economic activity for employment generation with special focus on rural and semi-urban areas.
Exports are projected to touch the target of US $ 125 billion by the end of the current financial year 2006-07 if the present rate of growth is maintained during the last quarter of the year.The export growth in India is partly on account of a favourable international environment resulting from a sustained world GDP growth at around 5 per cent since 2003. This has led to booming trade volumes and rising commodity prices in the world market. However, this alone does not entirely explain the 250

unprecedented growth performance. Exports from India also responded to numerous reform measures and policy initiatives. The Government made a conscious and concerted effort to reduce trade barriers, bring down transaction costs and facilitate trade. For the first time in the history of planning doubling of export activity within five years was set as a concrete target of the Foreign Trade Policy of the Government. During the first nine months of the current financial year ( April - December 2006-07) exports stood at US $ 89 billion while imports were valued at US $ 131 billion. Trade deficit was estimated at US $ 42 billion. The aggregate foreign trade data in US Dollar and Rupee terms for the period April- December 2005-06 and April- December 2006-07 are given below in Table 2.1.

Exports by Principal Commodities

According to disaggregated data of exports by Principal Commodities available for the period April - October 2006-07, the export growth was mainly driven by petroleum products, engineering

Table 2.1 India's Foreign Trade
(Rs crore)
Year Exports Growth Rate Imports Growth Rate Trade Deficit
2002-03 255137 22.1 297206 21.2 -42069
2003-04 293367 15.0 359108 20.8 -65741
2004-05 375340 27.9 501065 39.5 -125725
2005-06 456418 21.6 660408 31.8 -203990
2005-06(Apr-Dec) 324572.34   464866.02   -140293.68
2006-07(P)(Apr-Dec) 408394.10 25.83 598286.68 28.70 -189892.58

 

Year Exports Growth Rate Imports Growth Rate Trade Deficit
2002-03 52719 20.3 61412 19.4 -8693
2003-04 63843 21.1 78150 27.3 -14307
2004-05 83536 30.8 111517 42.7 -27981
2005-06 103090 23.4 149166 33.8 -46076
2005-06(Apr-Dec) 73362.28   105118.68   -31756.40
2006-07(P)(Apr-Dec) 89489.08 21.98 131212.46 24.82 -41723.88
(P) Provisional Data

Note: 2005-06 Figures are revised figures as per the Monthly Statistics of the Foreign Trade of India for March, 2006

Source: DGCI&S, Kolkata.

goods and agriculture and allied products. The growth performance of exports by Principal Commodities can be seen at Table 2.2 and Graph 2.1 below:

Plantation Crops

Export of plantation crops grew by 26.74 per cent in rupee terms compared with the corresponding period of the previous year. Export of coffee registered a growth of 33.86 per cent from Rs. 893.06 crore to Rs. 1,195.44 crore and export of tea registered a growth of 20.53 per cent from Rs. 1,023.72 crore to Rs. 1233.91 crore.

Agriculture and Allied Products

Agriculture and Allied Products include Cereals, Pulses, Tobacco, Spices, Nuts and Seeds, Oil Meals, Guargum Meals, Castor Oil, Shellac, Sugar & Molasses, Processed Food, Meat & Meat Products, etc. During April-October, 2006, exports of commodities under this group registered an average growth of 25.29 per cent with the value of exports rising from Rs. 16,547.74 crore in the previous year to Rs. 20,733.06 crore during the current year.

Ores and Minerals

Exports of Ores and Minerals were estimated at Rs. 15,415,05 crore during April-October, 2006 registering a growth of 13.20 per cent over the same period of the previous year. All sub groups viz. Processed Minerals, other Ores and Minerals, and Coal have recorded positive growth of 34.91 per cent, 47.76 per cent and 35.22 per cent respectively except Iron ore.

Leather and Leather Manufactures

Export of Leather and Leather Manufactures recorded during April-October, 2006 a growth of 9.06 per cent. The value of export increased to Rs. 7,451.72 crore from Rs. 6,832.80 crore during the same period of the previous year. Exports of Leather Manufactures and Leather Footwear registered a growth of 3.43 per cent and 18.40 per cent respectively.

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Gems and Jewellery

The export of Gems and Jewellery during April-October, 2006 increased to Rs. 41,877.01 crore from Rs. 41,834.12 crore during the corresponding period of last year showing a growth of 0.1 per cent.

Chemicals and related Products

The value of exports of Chemicals and Allied Products increased to Rs. 44,621.64 crore from Rs. 36,907.79 crore during the same period of the previous year registering a growth rate of 20.90 per cent. Basic Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals & Cosmetics, Rubber, Glass & Other Products and Residual Chemicals and Allied Products and Plastic & Linoleum registered positive growth.

Engineering Goods

Exports of items under this group consist of Machinery, Iron & Steel, and Other Engineering items. Export from this sector during the period April-October, 2006 stood at Rs. 66,267.62 crore compared with Rs. 45,912.18 crore during the same period of the previous year, registering an overall growth of 44.34 per cent.

Electronic goods & Computer Software in physical form

Exports of Electronic Goods were estimated at Rs. 7,138.46 crore compared with Rs. 5,285.41 crore during the corresponding period of last year, registering a growth of 35.06 per cent. Computer Software in Physical form has shown a negative growth of 62.72 per cent

Textiles and Handicrafts

The value of Textiles exports was estimated at Rs. 41,373.98 crore compared with Rs. 37,543.63 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year, recording a growth of 10.20 per cent. The export of Readymade Garments, Cotton, Yarn, Fabrics, Made Ups, etc., Manmade Textiles & Made Ups and Coir & Coir Mfrs recorded a growth of 8.08 per cent, 12.69 per cent, 18.81 per cent and 7.74 per cent respectively. Export items of Handicrafts include Metal Artware, Textiles (hand printed), Woodwares and Zari goods. Exports of Handicrafts declined to Rs. 874.37 crore from Rs. 1,265.81 crore during the corresponding period of the previous year registering a negative growth of 30.92 per cent. Export of carpets increased to Rs. 2,331.38 crore from Rs. 2,046.39 crore during the same period last year registering a growth of 13.93 per cent.

Project Goods

The export of Project Goods recorded a decline of Rs. 169.87 crore from Rs. 335.90 crore during the period April-October, 2006 registering a negative growth of 49.43 per cent..

Petroleum Products

Export of Petroleum Products increased by Rs.51,856 crores during the current year 2006-07 (April-October) compared with Rs.26,811 crores during the same period last year recording a growth of 93.4 per cent. As a a result of this the share of Petroleum Products in total exports increased to almost 16 per cent.

Cotton Raw including Waste

There was a very significant growth of Cotton Raw including Waste from Rs.664 crores during April-October 2005-06 to Rs.1,681 crores during 2006-07 April-Oct. The rate of growth of exports of this item at 153.4 per cent was the highest recorded by any group of Principal Commodities during the current year.

Trends in India's Imports

The trends in India's imports for the year2006-07 (April-October), compared with the corresponding period of 2005-06 are shown in Table-III. Oil Imports recorded a higher growth than non-oil imports whereas there was a decline in import of Pearls, Precious and Semi-Precious Stones

Imports by Principal Commodities

According to disaggregated data of imports by Principal Commodities available for the period April - October 2006-07, the import growth was mainly driven by Petroleum Crude. Imports of items under bulk category comprising inter-alia Fertilizers, Wheat, News Print, Non-Ferrous Metals, Metalliferrous Ores and Products recorded a substantial increase. The growth of import of Machinery and Project Goods was also significant. The growth performance of imports by Principal Commodities can be seen at Table 2.3 and Graph 2.2 below:

Fertilizers

During April - October, 2006-07, import of Fertilizers increased to Rs.8698.47 crore from Rs. 5,321.24 crore recording a growth of 63.47 per cent.

Petroleum Crude & Products

The import of Petroleum Crude & Products stood at Rs. 161,049.52 crore during April- October, 2006-07 against Rs. 106,874.99 crore during the same period of the previous year showing a growth of 50.69 per cent.

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Pearls, Precious and Semi-Precious Stones

Import of Pearls and Precious and Semi-precious Stones during April- October, 2006-07 decreased to Rs. 19,509.57 crore from Rs. 27,152.29 crore during the corresponding period of the previous year registering a negative growth of 28.15 per cent.

Capital Goods

Import of capital goods, largely comprising Machinery, including Transport Equipment and Project Goods recorded a notable increase during April- October, 2006-07 over the same period of last year. Import of Machine Tools, Project Goods, Non-Electrical Machinery, Electrical Machinery and Transport Equipment registered a growth of 47.15 per cent, 127.20 per cent, 45.24 per cent, 43.89 per cent, and 56.01 per cent respectively.

Chemicals and Chemical Materials

During April- October, 2006-07, import of Organic and Inorganic Chemicals increased to Rs. 20,840.13 crore from Rs. 18.051.71 crore during the same period of last year, registering a growth of 15.45 per cent. Import of Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Products also increased toRs. 3,037.09 crore from Rs.2,471.30 crore during the corresponding period of last year registering a growth of 22.89 per cent.

Direction of India's Foreign Trade

The value of India's exports and imports from major regions/ countries are given in Table IV & V respectively and Graph 2.3 and 2.4.

During the first 7 months of the current year, the share of Asia and ASEAN region comprising South Asian, East Asian, Mid-eastern and Gulf countries accounted for nearly 49.87 per cent of India's total exports. The share of Europe and America in India's export stood at 22.28 per cent and 19.83 per cent respectively of which EU (25) comprises 20.74 per cent. During the period, USA continued to remain the most important country of export destination (15.47 per cent) followed by United Arab Emirates (10.06 per cent),

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Singapore (5.45 per cent), China (5.66 per cent), Hong Kong (3.71 per cent), UK (4.46 per cent) and Germany (3.15 per cent).

Asia and ASEAN accounted for 61.56 per cent of India's total import during the period followed by Europe (19.91 per cent) and America (9.4 per cent). Among individual countries the share of China stood highest at (9.1 per cent) followed by USA (5.7 per cent), and Germany (3.99 per cent).

During the same period, Africa accounted for the highest growth in India's export at 73.26 per cent followed by Asia & ASEAN (35.66 per cent), Europe (21.94 per cent) and America (21.95 per cent). On the other hand, India's imports from the Asia and ASEAN region was 130.96 per cent higher than the imports in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Import of Sensitive Items during 2006 - 07 (April- December)

The total import of sensitive items for the period April-December 2006 has been Rs 14472 crore as compared to Rs 12959 crore during the corresponding period last year thereby showing an increase of 11.7 per cent. The gross import of all commodity during same period of current year was Rs 598287 crore as compared to Rs 464866 crore during the same period of last year. Thus import of sensitive items constitute 2.8 per cent and 2.4 per cent of the gross imports during last year and current year respectively.

Imports of fruits & vegetables (including nuts), cotton & silk, spices and tea & coffee have shown a decline at broad group level during the period. Imports of items viz. edible oil, food grains, products of SSI, rubber, marble & Granite, Alcoholic beverages and milk & milk products have shown increase during the period under reference.

In the edible oil segment, the imports has increased from Rs 6753 crores last year to Rs 7558 crores for the corresponding period of this year. A significant feature of edible oil import is that import of crude oil has gone up by 20.5 per cent and that of refined oil have gone down by 44.9 per cent. The growth in edible oil import is mainly due to significant increase in import of Crude Palm Oil and its fractions which has gone up by 44 per cent.

Imports of sensitive items from Indonesia, Argentina, Australia, United States of America, China People's Republic, Malaysia, Russia, Sri Lanka DSR, Thailand, Cote D' Ivory, Germany etc. have gone up while those from Brazil, Guinea Bissau, Egypt A RP, Japan, Benin etc. have shown a decrease.

A table showing imports of sensitive items during April-December 2006 Vs April-December 2005 is given in Table-2.6. Graph-2.5 & Graph-2.6 depict the comparative percentage share of import of sensitive items during April-December 2005 and April-December 2006 respectively.

17.1

17.2

 

 

Export of Principal Commodities


 

Import of Principal Commodities


 

Exports by Region & Countries

 



Import by Regions & Countries

 


 

Import of Sensitive Items Provisional Estimates