India’s exports to China have jumped 31 per cent to $7.29 billion during April-July 2020, despite a slump in the economy.
While overall exports have registered a negative growth of 29.99 per cent in the first four months (April-July) of 2020-21, exports to China have increased by 30.71 per cent, shows an analysis of the monthly trade data available on the Commerce Ministry’s portal.
It shows during April-July this year, exports to China increased to $7.29 billion — 30.71 per cent up from $5.57 billion in the same period of the last year. However, in this period, the country’s overall exports contracted by 29.99 per cent to $75.01 billion from $107.14 billion in the same period last year.
Exports to China during April-July 2020-21 is the highest since 2007-08, the year since monthly trade figures are available online.
With the latest surge, share of exports to China in India’s total exports have also climbed to 9.71 per cent during April-July, as against 5.2 per cent in the year-ago period.
Annually, the share of exports to China in India’s total exports has been rising very slowly but this year it has gone up sharply. In the last financial year, China was the third largest importer of Indian goods, with the US (accounting for 16.94 per cent of exports) being the largest importer, and the UAE (9.21 per cent) second.
While there is no specific reason given for the jump in Indian exports to China during April-July 2020, it can be due to old pre-contracted orders being shipped once port operations resumed after the COVID-19 lockdown.
The pandemic outbreak was reported early in China, and trade activities were disrupted there during January-March 2020. While in India the impact became more visible in April after the country went into lockdown on March 24. On March 25, the Home Ministry issued an addendum to lockdown guidelines, allowing operations of railways, airports and seaports for “cargo movement” and “inter-state movement of goods/cargo for inland and exports”.
The data also shows that during calendar year 2020, there was an increase of 23.15 per cent in exports to China in January, compared to same month of the last year. However, following three months — February (-13.62 %), March (36.66%) and April (-20.69%) — saw a dip in the exports over the corresponding months of last year. This period of slump was followed by a sharp jump in exports during May, June and July.
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