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India exports to start growing after June

Posted on: March 20, 2009


Reuters – Friday, March 20

NEW DELHI, March 19 – Overseas sales of Indian textile, leather, gems and jewellery are picking up but overall exports may start growing only after June, Trade Secretary Gopal Pillai said on Thursday.

“I expect, in April, May and June, exports to stabilise. Thereafter there would be a recovery,” he told reporters.

He expects India’s annual exports will be $170 billion in the year to March, sharply lower than an earlier target of $200 billion, after the dismal performance in December and March quarters.

Exports were estimated at $144.3 billion until January.

Exports have been declining since October as the global economic slowdown trimmed demand from major markets.

A trade ministry official had earlier expected further falls in February and March.

Since December, the government and central bank have announced a series of measures including cuts in lending rates and interest subsidies for loss-making exporters in order to prevent massive job cuts.

Pillai said exports of textiles, leather and gems and jewellery, which contribute heavily in India’s total export basket, were showing signs of a pick up.

“Textile is now stabilizing. Most textile people are now saying…they are now getting orders…They are hopeful that once supplies again fresh orders will come. So, lack of orders is slowly going away,” he said.

An official of the Textile Ministry told Reuters in Mumbai he expected textile exports at $22-23 billion in 2009/10 fiscal year, almost the same as that estimated for FY09.

Earlier, an industry body said India’s gems and jewellery exports fell 4.6 percent to $17.79 billion during April 2008 to February 2009, from a year earlier, but Pillai said exports were picking up.

(Reporting by Manoj Kumar and Rajesh Kumar Singh; editing by Rohini Ananthan)

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