Mar 19, 2012

Merchandise trade of India - Economic survey 2011-12

The International trade chapter from the latest Economic Survey can be found here.
Interestingly, there is a new chapter on "India and the Global Economy" in this survey, which I believe should be of interest to anyone who wants to talk about international trade with respect to India.
I am going to highlight some of the points from the above chapters in this and the following blog. I believe these points are of general interest while we talk about India's trade. One can refer the chapters for more details. This blog will focus only on merchandise trade. The next one will talk on services and general points. 
  • India's merchandise export regained the pre-crisis levels in 2010-11, but is showing lesser rate of growth in the current year (Apr-Jan 2011-12). This is due to significant slowing down, in dollar terms, since Oct 2011 due to Euro zone crisis. The last quarter (Jan -Mar 2012) data is awaited to get the final picture.  
  • After a long time, the trade deficit situation improved. The net terms of trade, which measures the unit value index of imports, declined to -14.3 percent. Simply put, exports grew faster than imports in 2010-11. This trend might not hold for 2011-12 again. 
  • India exported goods worth US $ 243 billion, registering a growth of 23.5% during April-Jan 2011-12. The top 5 products and shares of exports are Engg Goods (22%), Petroleum products (21%), Gems and Jewellery (16%), Primary products (12.7%) and Chemical and related products (11.6%). 
  • India imported goods worth US $ 392 billion, registering a growth of 29.4% during April-Jan 2011-12. Of the imports, POL contributed USD 118 billion, Non POL imports was at USD 273.5 billion (of this, Gold and silver worth USD 50 billion, capital goods and raw materials for industries worth USD 223 billion)
  • Trade deficit for April-Jan 2011-12 is USD 149 billion, which is higher by 40% compared to same period last year. This is alarming. The main reason is rise in Gold and silver imports which grew by 54%. 
  • India was 13th biggest importer and 20th biggest exporter in the world in 2010. India's share in global trade in 2010 was 1.5% which improved to 1.9% in first half of 2011. 
  • Electronic goods have displaced leather manufactured products from 5th position in manufactured sector exports since 2008. There has been a gradual shift in India's manufactures exports from labor-intensive sectors like textiles, leather, handicrafts and carpets to capital and skill intensive sectors. 
  • India has managed to diversify it's trade market significantly in recent years. In the last decade trade share with Asia and ASEAN improved from 33% to 58%. Share of EU and Americas decreased from 43% to 31%. This has helped us in weathering global crisis originating from EU/US. 
Tiru