Imports too have jumped to a record high of $589 billion up to March 21, as against $393. 6 billion during the financial year 2020-21. As a result, up to March 21, the trade deficit was estimated at $188. 2 billion. This year’s surge in exports was aided partly by higher prices of oil and other commodities, which saw a sharp rebound as demand came back, although several products such as automobiles and rice witnessed sharp increase in volumes, despite prices not seeing a steep rise.
Officials said that there has been some shift in demand to India as buyers, particularly in Europe, sought to diversify their sourcing from China, following the Covid-19 outbreak two years ago.
The government was obviously cheering the export growth. “India set an ambitious target of $400 billion of goods exports and achieved this target for the first time ever. I congratulate our farmers, weavers, MSMEs, manufacturers, exporters for this success. This is a key milestone in our Aatmanirbhar Bharat journey,” PM Narendra Modi tweeted Wednesday morning. Last year, Modi had detailed consultations with businesses and Indian missions overseas, urging them to boost exports.
While the target for the next financial year is still being worked out, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal told a press conference that India is poised for significant growth in the coming years. “Despite difficulties, it is apure testimony to the sheer grit, determination and capability of our entrepreneurs, MSMEs, farmers, handicraft and dairy sectors,” he said.
The minister said that engineering exports had hit a record high of over $107 billion so far this year, while electronics exports jumped 41% to $15 billion and farm exports were around $40 billion for the first time.
Among India’s top export destinations, the US had seen a47% jump, while increase in the case of UAE was to the tune of 65% and for Australia 94%, DGFT Santosh Kumar Sarangi said.