India's merchandise exports to hit lowest in five years this fiscal: Report

Posted By: Religare
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India's merchandise exports are going to hit the lowest in five years at the end of 2015-16 closing the current fiscal between USD 265-268 billion, significantly lower than USD 310 billion in the previous fiscal, thanks mainly to a sharp erosion in commodity prices in the global market and slump in their speculative demand as reflected in futures trading, an ASSOCHAM study has forecast.

"Indian exports had achieved a landmark of USD 300 billion in 2011-12 for the first time making the country a sizeable player in global exports. Afterwards somehow, for one reason or the other we could reach a maximum of USD 314 billion in 2013-14, only to retrieve in the following year at USD 310 billion. But the fall this year is going to be very steep," the ASSOCHAM study on "Export Outlook in the face of commodity Meltdown", said.

However, it is not as if the entire export drop is coming around on the back of fall in demand for Indian goods. It is only that the global merchandise economy has moved away sharply from a very high cost, ultra bullish commodity situation to a bearish and low cost situation where demand relates mainly to the actual consumption which is rather low key.

"The pricing power as was being mirrored in the futures trading markets all over the world - be it for crude oil, metals, coal, copper or even edible items turned out to be rather myopic and has totally disappeared. Thus, there is no sentiment build-up around commodities and thus the demand is actually restricted to the real consumption. Nobody is willing to bet for futures and thus there is a meltdown in prices", the ASSOCHAM study noted.

It further stated that with the erosion in price tags, the exports in value terms have dropped while in volume, the scenario is not that bad across sectors.

"Like in the world of technology, disruptive changes are also taking place in the real world of goods exports. It will take time before we adjust from the next fiscal when the low base impact would kick in," chamber Secretary General D S Rawat said.

Story first published: Monday, September 21, 2015, 9:30 [IST]
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