India’s trade touches double-digits, says Maersk report

(Excerpts of executive summary of Maersk India Q3 2017 Trade Report)

As the exuberance around the recent rankings conferred on India by the World Bank and Moody’s just about begins to alleviate, the country gets yet another reason to celebrate, with its global containerized import-export recording its highest growth in the past year, at a strong 10% in Q3 of 2017.

Mirroring this overall increase, imports and exports have also clocked growth at the same rate, outperforming industry expectations.

With a lot to cheer about already, India’s GDP too has taken an upward turn once again, indicating that the impact of major reforms such as demonetization and GST are finally stabilizing, and the business environment is expected to improve further once concerns around GST refunds are addressed.

These upticks are in turn expected to once more push up consumer spending, further propelling India’s trade prospects in the months to come; more so against the backdrop of recent announcements by the government on awarding the infrastructure status to India’s logistics Industry and setting up a special cell to promote India’s exports to the world.

According to Steve Felder, Managing Director, Maersk Line – India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives, “the growth we have seen this quarter reflects the resilience of India’s global trade environment. Not only is India repeatedly outpacing the global growth average, but it is also one of the strongest global import-export partners amongst the BRICS nations.”

 In Q3 2017, exports to Mediterranean led India’s overall exports growth, registering a 14% increase; whereas exports to North America grew at 8%; indicating India’s strengthening trade ties with these regions.

Amongst the Mediterranean countries, Turkey emerged as India’s largest export trading partner in terms of overall volumes, due to growing demand for textiles from the northern states of India, as well as vehicles and metal from the western region of the country.

Exports to Algeria, on the other hand, showed the highest jump at 28% growth in Q3 2017, up from 12% growth in the corresponding period of last year.

Additionally, appliances and kitchenware exports to UAE gained significant steam, going from a negative growth of -44% in the corresponding period of last year to a 38% growth in Q3 2017. Demand for India-made appliances and kitchenware also saw a significant growth from Saudi Arabia, moving from -20% to 8% in Q3 2017.

Offering greater insight into India’s trade with the Mediterranean, Felder commented, “The growth in exports to Mediterranean countries has mainly come for East-Mediterranean. And this is owing to the political stability that is finally settling in Turkey, where we saw a lot of disruptions in the first half of this year.”

Meanwhile, India’s imports advancement is mainly a result of western India showing a significant jump of 8%, as opposed to the negative import growth registered by the region in the corresponding period last year.

Additionally, north India and south India recorded 13% and 11% growth respectively, with their combined volumes substantially impacting overall growth.

These surges have been on the back of increased demand for a range of commodities:

  • Electronics and electronic appliances from China
  • Waste paper from United States
  • Plastic and rubber from Saudi Arabia
  • Auto parts and vehicles from Germany
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