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Containerised trade in India recorded slower growth than the global average: Maersk India Trade Report Q2 2019

India’s containerised trade growth slowed to 1 per cent (9 per cent in the same period last year) in Q2 2019, due to a cocktail of international factors such as slowing trade growth and growing trade tensions—coupled with domestic factors like rural consumer distress, tightening liquidity and a slowdown in key manufacturing sectors. Combined, these triggers impacted the country’s economic activity, slowing overall import-export growth, as per the Maersk India Trade Report Q2 2019.  

West India delivered the highest growth with imports growing at 4 per cent and exports at 11 per cent. North India on the other hand delivered 1 per cent growth in imports yet a steep decline of 9 per cent in exports. South India registered 1 per cent import growth and 2 per cent export growth, while East India recorded 2 per cent growth in imports and contracted by 1 per cent in terms of exports. 

India’s exports to China declined by 20 per cent, led by a reduction in demand for India-made textiles and apparels, which were large export commodities in the corresponding period last year. Imports from China contracted more, by 22 per cent. On the other hand, the increasing economic cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia led the latter to emerge as one of India’s strongest export partners in Q2 2019, growing by 74 per cent, with vegetables and tiles, stone and glass exports from India leading this growth.

Said Mr Steve Felder, Managing Director, Maersk South Asia, “The overall deceleration of trade growth reflects a broadbased slowdown across key economic sectors. Amidst increasing global volatility, a slower local economy and the US’ withdrawal of preferential access for certain Indian products, India’s import-export trade is expected to continue to face headwinds in the coming months. However, the Commerce Ministry’s recently proposed export promotion scheme, supported with a production-based support scheme, coupled with a weaker rupee, is expected to boost Make in India and benefit multiple industries. Additionally, India has a great opportunity to position itself as a beneficiary of the global trade tensions, provided it can attract investment, move up the ease of doing business index and reduce costs related to logistics.”  

India’s overall trade with North America grew 14 per cent, and with Europe there was a growth of 10 per cent in Q2 2019. Containerised trade with the Mediterranean countries was flat, primarily due to a 2 per cent contraction in exports.  

India’s exports to North America strengthened; vehicles growth slowed  

Whilst India’s export growth with the world stagnated, export growth to North America doubled from the corresponding period last year to 15 per cent growth in Q2 2019. This was largely led by North India, which delivered an increase of 18 per cent this year as opposed to 1 per cent last year. West and South India also contributed to the overall export growth, while growth from East India shrunk. 

A large part of this growth can be attributed to textiles and apparels, and metal exports to North America, which rose by 14 per cent as compared to the same period last year. Additionally, Indian shrimp exports to North America further contributed to this growth curve. The commodity that saw the sharpest fall in exports to North America was India-made vehicles, which slowed to 11 per cent growth from a strong 67 per cent growth last year. On the import side, while domestic demand for textiles, apparel and accessories from North America grew, commodities such as fruits and nuts, vegetables and foodstuff experienced a weakening demand. 

Added Mr Felder, “Additional to all the opportunities that lay ahead for India, the government also recognises the importance of global trade, which is evident from the creation of a dedicated Logistics Wing that will integrate and enhance the numerous elements of the logistics value chain. That coupled with adoption of new technologies such as Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence across the logistics network, and concerted efforts towards the improvement of infrastructure at ports and roadways will ensure last mile connectivity for farmers, MSMEs and small businesses. All these factors combined can help in driving economic growth and trade competitiveness of India.”  

The data has been tabulated basis Maersk containerised data, said a release.  


Source : Exim News Service - Mumbai, Sept. 23