Post March contraction,exports grow 3.2% in April

Post March contraction,exports grow 3.2% in April

There are serious demand constraints

After shrinking 5.7 per cent for the first time since 2009 in March,India’s exports grew by 3.2 per cent in April to stand at $24.5 billion in a climate of continuing global trade contraction.

Imports,on the other hand,grew by 3.8 per cent year-on-year at $37.9 billion during the month,commerce secretary Rahul Khullar told reporters here today. The resultant balance of trade stood at $13.4 billion during April 2012-13,the lowest ever,he said.

“There are serious demand constraints. The good thing is that in some sectors like engineering,the growth rates are much better,bad news is about export of ready-made garment,made-ups and cotton yarn,” the secretary said. Continuing uncertainties in the US and the euro zone has taken the sheen off the Indian exports. “We will be lucky to register a growth of 15 per cent during the year,” Khullar said. The country recorded a growth rate of over 20 per cent during the last fiscal.

“The situation is more grim now as in the past periods of slowdown,the emerging and developing economies exhibited positive growth helping us to increase our exports through market diversification strategy… The slowdown in new markets will be more obvious in next few months,” M Rafeeque Ahmed,president,FIEO,said. What is more alarming is the fact that there is a decline in labour-intensive sectors like gems and jewellery,leather and ready-made garments,Ahmed said.

As regard the impact of a slackening rupee,Khullar said it is likely to impact the demand for imports but for the exact impact,“we will have to wait for the number for first quarter… June number will be more important”.