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India's exports rise in 115 nations out of 238 destinations in 2023-24: Govt data

India's exports rise in 115 nations out of 238 destinations in 2023-24: Govt data
India's exports have increased to as many as 115 countries out of the total 238 destinations during 2023-24 despite the global economic uncertainties, according to commerce ministry's data. These 115 export destinations, which account for 46.5 per cent of India's export basket, include the US, UAE, Netherland, China, UK, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Germany and Italy.

The country's merchandise exports dipped by 3 per cent to USD 437.1 billion in the last fiscal. However, services exports rose to USD 341.1 billion in 2023-24 as against USD 325.3 billion in 2022-23.

The data showed that despite persistent global challenges, overall exports (goods and services together) hit the highest level in 2022-23.

Overall exports reached USD 778.2 billion in 2023-24 as compared to USD 776.4 billion in 2022-23, registering a marginal growth of 0.23 per cent.

The share of India's merchandise exports has also increased marginally from 1.70 per cent in 2014 to 1.82 per cent in 2023. India's rank in world merchandise exporters too has improved from 19th to 17th during the same period.

Further, India's export to its top 10 destinations witnessed a 13 per cent year-on-year increase in 2023-24.

The UAE has emerged as the primary destination, with a substantial 12.71 per cent growth in export value at USD 35.6 billion.

Similarly, exports to Singapore that surged by 20.19 per cent to USD 14.4 billion, to the UK (up 13.30 per cent to USD 13 billion), and to China (up 8.70 per cent to USD 16.7 billion) also recorded healthy growth indicating a sustained demand for Indian products.

The data showed that the exponential growth rates observed in countries like Russia (35.41 per cent), Romania (138.84 per cent), and Albania (234.97 per cent) underscore the exploration of new markets.

"Strengthening trade relations with these nations could unlock untapped opportunities and bolster India's overall export competitiveness," an official said.

The country's outbound shipments to regions including CIS (commonwealth of independent states, Oceania and Europe too witnessed expansion during 2023-24 over 2022-23.

The top five export destinations driving export growth in CIS region during 2023-24 are Russia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Armenia and Tajikistan.

Similarly, the top five destinations driving India's export growth in Oceania region in the last fiscal are Australia, Timor Leste, Samoa, Vanuatu and Solomon Island.

And in Europe, the major countries where Indian exporters recorded healthy growth in their shipments during 2023-24 are the UK, Romania, Albania, Netherland and Greece.

On the commodities front, as many as 17 items have registered an increase in exports in 2023-24 over the last financial. These sectors constitute 48.4 per cent of India's export basket.

These sectors include engineering, electronic goods, pharmaceuticals, and cotton yarn/fabrics/handloom products.

However, there were notable decline in key sectors in the last fiscal such as petroleum products (- 13.66 per cent) and gems and jewellery (-13.83 per cent).

According to the data, of the 229 source nations, India's imports have declined from 124 countries in 2023-24.

The top 10 source countries, which constitute 59.3 per cent of India's import basket, include China, USA, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Russia, and Switzerland.

Decline in imports are reported from countries like the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman and it highlights the need for India to bolster its trade relations, especially with GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) member countries, the official said.

"While some declines may stem from market dynamics or economic conditions, they also present opportunities for policy makers to reconsider trade strategies, prioritize domestic production, and foster indigenous industries," the official added.

Meanwhile, India Exim Bank on Thursday projected that India's merchandise exports would rise by 12.3 per cent to USD 116.7 billion during April-June this fiscal.

"Positive growth in India's exports could be as a result of India's strong GDP growth fundamentals and outlook, sustained momentum in manufacturing and services sector, backed by expected global easing of monetary tightening spurring global demand, and to some extent due to base effect," it said in a statement.

The outlook is, however, subject to risks of uncertain prospects for advanced economies, geopolitical shocks, the Middle East crisis leading to the intensification of the Red Sea crisis and deepening geo-economic fragmentation, among other factors, it added.

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