Engineering goods, India’s largest exports, fell to a 20-month low in October. The segment’s shipments stood at $7.4 billion, down 21.3% year-on-year.
“With the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war threatening to push major advanced economies into recession, exports of engineering goods have seen a slowdown in the past few months and the coming months are likely to be challenging as uncertainty continues,” said Arun Kumar Garodia, chairman of the Engineering Export Promotion Council.
The decline in exports of major labour-intensive sectors including engineering goods, apparels and textiles, gems & jewellery, petroleum product, organic & inorganic chemicals, drugs & pharmaceuticals, marine products, leather & leather products besides many agri product sectors is of particular concern as these sectors are key to huge employment generation, A Sakthivel, president of Federation of Indian Export Organisations, said.
“At the same time, the growth in exports of electronic goods on a sustained basis is a good sign besides growth in exports of few agricultural products including oil seeds, oil meals, tobacco, tea and rice,” Sakthivel said.
“Exports are now close to pre-pandemic levels, in nominal seasonally adjusted terms, they are 5% higher than in February 2020,” said Pranjul Bhandari, chief India economist at HSBC. “In June, they were 49% higher than pre-pandemic levels.”
The fall in exports is not just in value terms, she said, adding that exports have been softening since June even by volume.