New Delhi: On 8th May, Slowdown in global demand, appreciation of the rupee against the euro and steep fall in oil prices led to a decline in India’s exports in 2014-15, Parliament was informed.
The country’s exports dipped by 1.2 percent to USD 310.5 billion in 2014-15 as against USD 314.4 billion in the previous fiscal (2013-14).
Exports started declining since October 2014 and contracted to 21.1 percent in March, the biggest fall in last six years.
Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attributed the decline in exports to fall in global demand during the period to slowing down of world trade, appreciation of the rupee against the euro, making exports to Europe, which is a major market for India, less competitive for Indian exporters.
“Steep fall in the prices of petroleum crude resulting in consequent decline in prices as well as export realisation for petroleum products that are major product items for exports for India,” she said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
India’s major exporting goods in the last fiscal include petroleum products, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, jewellery, iron and steel, cars, aircraft, spacecraft and marine products, Sitharaman said.
She added that incentives announced in the foreign trade policy will diversify India’s export markets and products and give a boost to India’s exports.
In a separate reply, she said in April-February 2014-15, India’s exports to South Asian countries stood at USD 18.55 billion as against USD 17.50 billion in 2013-14.
Total trade between India and the seven South Asian countries — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka — grew to USD 21.16 billion in April-February 2014-15 as against USD 19.97 billion in 2013-14.
The share of these seven countries in India’s total trade has increased to 3.04 percent in April-February 2014-15 as against 2.61 percent in 2013-14.
However, trade with Pakistan has dipped to USD 2.17 billion in April-February 2014-15 as against USD 2.7 billion in 2013-14.
“Government has taken steps to improve the trade infrastructure with South Asian countries. South
Asian Foreign Trade Agreement (SAFTA) provisions have also been liberalised by India/SAARC countries to encourage greater trade,” the Minister said.